SET TO RELEASE NEW ALBUM
‘SWEET KIND OF BLUE’ ON MAY 19TH
+ ANNOUNCES SUCCESSION OF IN-STORE APPEARANCES
“Heartfelt songwriting… bridging the gap between folk, country and Fleetwood Mac” (The Times)
“Ambitious and beautifully wrought” (Q)
Emily Barker is set to release her new album ‘Sweet Kind of Blue’ on 19th May through Everyone Sang/Kartel. The album marks a new sound as she returns to the soul and blues influences that first inspired her to become a singer/songwriter. ‘Sweet Kind of Blue’ was recorded in June 2016, at the legendary Sam Phillips Recording Service in Memphis that holds the legacy of recording artists like Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bob Dylan and Booker T. The stunning set is her first full studio album since Emily Barker & the Red Clay Halo’s ‘Dear River’ in 2013.
The stars were perfectly aligned for these Memphis ‘Sweet Kind of Blue’ sessions. Barker brought her songs, her guitar, that cathedral of a voice and her irrepressible freewheeling spirit. Producer Matt Ross-Spang was riding high following his recent Grammy success with Jason Isbell and Barker was backed by top Memphis musicians Rick Steff, Dave Smith, Dave Cousar and Steve Potts who have performed on recordings for John Mayall, Cat Power and Norah Jones, amongst many others. Barker marveled at the synergy they created: “in this short amount of time, (4 days of tracking) myself and the musicians become very close. It’s a magical thing to experience; the rapid transition from strangers to life-long friends, it doesn’t always happen”. The result is an intoxicating blend of songs Barker penned about loves lost, heartrending humanity, the rush of the road trip and the sheer glory of a new love. The making of the album was a love story in itself – between Barker and Memphis.
The album includes new single, ‘Sunrise’, the second to be released from the forthcoming album. Barker wrote ‘Sunrise’ on a road-trip while touring Sweden, influenced by natural surroundings of lakes, beaches and the long-lasting sunlight of peak Swedish summer. “It’s a song about escaping”, says Barker, “and it seemed very fitting to record it in the USA with the national theme of the road-trip being such a feature in literature, music and popular culture throughout American history”.
It follows the contrasting mood of first single ‘Sister Goodbye’, a soulful tribute to one of Barker’s guitar-slinging heroes, Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Barker performed the song in her honour, hoping she might be listening, and describes Rosetta as “trailblazer, a barrier-breaker, an innovator and an inspiration”. In title track ‘Sweet Kind of Blue’, Barker brings the funk with a raw fervor, backed by a tight rhythm section that delivers a southern swing, as well as classic interjecting harmonies.
Barker has penned and performed theme songs for BAFTA and Ivor Novello winning television dramas Wallander (starring Kenneth Branagh) and The Shadow Line and for the movie The Keeping Room, as well as an entire musical score for the poignant and well-received 2015 road movie, Hector, starring Peter Mullan. She has released several critically acclaimed albums both solo, as Emily Barker and the Red Clay Halo and including side projects Vena Portae and Applewood Road. She has played many sold-out UK dates and performed with Frank Turner at the London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony.
The album ‘Sweet Kind of Blue’ is out on 19th May. Emily Barker has recently announced a succession of UK in-store appearances at Independent record shops to coincide with the release of ‘Sweet Kind Of Blue’ as well as an album launch at The Albert, in Stroud on May 18th.
18th May – ‘Sweet Kind Of Blue’ Album Launch @ The Albert, Stroud
Emily Barker Indie In-Stores
Fri 19 May 10am – Breakfast Signing – Trading Post, Stroud
Fri 19 May, 1pm – Badlands, Cheltenham
Fri 19 May, 7pm – Sound Knowledge (band) Marlborough
Sat 20 May, 1pm – Rough Trade East (band) London
Sat 20 May, 5pm – Music’s Not Dead Bexhill on Sea
Sun 21 May, 3pm – Nottingham Rough Trade
Mon 22 May, 12.15pm – Jumbo, Leeds
Tue 23 May, -7.30pm – David’s, Letchworth
Wed 24 May, 6pm – Bristol Rise
Thu 25 May, 6pm – Oxford Truck
Fri 26 May, 6.30pm – Black Circle Records, Leighton Buzzard
Sat 27 May 1pm Pebble, Eastbourne
Sat 27 May 3pm Union Music Store, Lewes
Thu 1 Jun, 6pm – Brill, London
Sat 3 Jun 3pm – Hundred Records, Romsey