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EMILY BARKER AND THE RED CLAY HALO
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Emily Barker and The Red Clay Halo
Hailing from Bridgetown, Western Australia, Emily Barker is a compelling songwriter with a gift for weaving melody and words. Her talent is perfectly complemented by the magnificent arrangements of her band The Red Clay Halo, whose rootsy ensemble playing underpins Barker’s agile vocal blend of strength and fragility.

After leaving Australia with her backpack and guitar, Emily found herself playing folk gigs in Cambridge UK and formed a duo called ‘the low country’ whose first ever recording “Lord Give Me An Exit” was played by John Peel on BBC radio. Emily’s great song writing, a classic out-going Aussie attitude and serendipity conspired to unite her with The Red Clay Halo. Together they have recorded three albums. The first was‘Photos.Fires.Fables’. (2007) - an eclectic tapestry of old-time narratives weaving gothic stories of fire, tragedy, love and hard lessons…
 
‘sharply observed, original songs …adventurously embellished by gypsy flourishes and haunting desert echoes that’d be at home on a Calexico album’ – Uncut Magazine

“This is a gorgeous, sincere voice that grabs you and won’t let go” - The Sun
 
 
Next came ‘Despite The Snow’ (2008) - recorded in just 4 days over a snowy Easter weekend in Norfolk.Critically acclaimed in the UK and Australian music press, its opening track ‘Nostalgia’ became the theme tune to BBC One drama Wallander starring British actor Kenneth Branagh. The music reached the ears of six million television viewers and went on to win a BAFTA and a Royal Television Award. Not bad for a girl who has never owned a TV set!

“Stripped free of studio frippery and all the better for its carefree simplicity” **** - Q Magazine

"The hills have yet to be emptied of gold if you know where to look.” - The Times
 
 
2011 saw the UK release of ‘Almanac’, immediately attracting strong support from BBC radio with sessions for Cerys Matthews on 6 Music and Radio 4’s Loose Ends, and single Little Deaths picked as record of the week on Nemone’s 6 Music show. Mainstream Saturday afternoon Radio 2 presenter Dermot O’Leary not only invited the band in to a session but asked them to re-record the theme tune for his show. 

“This is a dream of a record. A new Marling, then? No, Barker offers something else..." - BBC Music editor’s choice Feb 2011

When released in Australia late in 2011, the first single from the album, Billowing Sea, caught the attention of ABC National (Weekend Planet), ABC Perth, PBS, RTR, FBi, Triple J (Roots & All) and RRR, where Emily provided details for her ‘Formative Five’ influential tracks.

Almanac included the single Pause, again heard by Martin Phipps, who was then working on music for The Shadow Line for BBC2. The tone for each episode is set by its theme tune, the achingly beautiful sound of Emily’s voice blended with the band’s harmonies. The series was a cult hit with 3 million viewers and is now screening in Australia on ABC 1.

The band’s albums are entirely self-financed and released on Emily’s own imprint Everyone Sang, with Almanac being jointly funded by spareroom.co.uk and a pledgemusic.com fan-funded campaign.

Emily has played every major (not ‘mainstream’) and minor music festival in the UK, including Glastonbury (Alchemy stage), Cambridge Folk Festival (3 times), Green Mad Festival, End of the Road Festival and will this year play Bestival on the Isle of Wight. In September 2011, Emily was invited to perform by the Consul General to perform at Australia House in London to an exclusive invited audience of diplomats, supporters of Australian arts, selected music industry professionals and a few very lucky fans. 

Now returning to tour Australia after a seven year hiatus, Emily is rediscovering her homeland by visiting as many towns as possible. During her visits Emily will be exploring the meaning of ‘home’ – the home she is reconnecting with as well as the home she has temporarily left behind in England – as inspiration for the writing of her next studio album.


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