In the run-up to the December release of the live album, We Followed Every Sound, Dear Reader (aka Cheri MacNeil) has released a live video for her track Back from the Dead, accompanied by the German Film Orchestra.
Earlier this year, Dear Reader released Rivonia; an album of stories, histories and anecdotes relating to and inspired by South Africa; the country she was born and raised in. The brave release was met with great critical acclaim, and illustrated her ability to tell stories and paint bright, vivid pictures through the medium of witty pop songs, despite the often-bleak realities described.
The opportunity to record the songs of Rivonia with a full orchestra was offered by German radio station Radio Eins, and the result is the live album, We Followed Every Sound. Pairing Dear Reader’s crisp, clear voice with the multi-layered thickness of a full, orchestra makes for an emotive, passionate performance, which somehow manages not to detract from the resonance of her own acoustic sound. The mix of a cinematic soundtrack, and Dear Reader’s story-like, lyrical tracks, is nothing short of logical.
With the creative orchestra arrangements of dramaturge Max Knoth carefully guided by conductor Bernd Wefelmayer, the orchestra adds a magical element to the sound, a theatrical depth, an honest and heart-felt swell of beautifully-timed peaks and troughs. But it takes its lead from Dear Reader; the two elements never find themselves competing for space.
The instrumental line melts in behind Cheri’s sure and steady vocals so subtly, so perfectly, that the mix is like an expertly balanced recipe; where each spice is so accurately measured, that it complements, but is barely distinguishable, from the overall taste. It is the ideal blend.
Released on December 9th through City Slang, We Followed Every Sound includes not only the re-worked tracks from Rivonia, but also stand-out tracks from previous albums, such as Great White Bear, Dearheart and Idealistic Animals.