Emily Barker Releases New Album – ‘Sweet Kind Of Blue’

Emily Barker released her new album ‘Sweet Kind of Blue’ on 19 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 fervour, 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.
Catch Emily instore at the following:

Tues 30 May, 6pm – Diverse, Newport

Wed 31 May 6pm – Pie & Vinyl, Southsea

Thu 1 Jun, 6pm – Brill, London

Sat 3 Jun 3pm  – Hundred Records, Romsey

About the author

There’s a lot of music out there - good music. At Essentially Pop our remit is that we cover music that deserves to be heard, with a particular focus on independent artists. That doesn't mean we won't cover your old favourites - rather we hope to give you some new favourites as well.

We no longer accept unpaid PR agency work. We believe the creative arts have value, and this includes writing. As always, we will write about artists who contact us - or who we contact - for free - but we can no longer work free of charge for PR agencies. We work hard, we put in a lot of hours writing, and we ask that you respect that. Contact us for our very reasonable rates.

Follow us on: Twitter, Google+, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram, Myspace, Facebook, Spotify, Youtube. Drop us an email on hello@essesntiallypop.com

Leave a Reply

Please help us with running costs – donate here

%d bloggers like this: