Emily Barker & The Red Clay Halo - Dear River - Hi-Fi News
A natural for high-res downloads, Barker and band's fourth album is the first issued on a label they don't own. The one that they found to be simpatico is Linn, which paradoxically has embraced digital with similar force to its analogue worship (minus the politics). Barker explains, 'What really struck me more than anything...was their care and passion in creating incredible sound right from the very beginning.' Her material is delicate in the manner of what I call 'post-alt-country' with lyrics that demand intelligibility and musicanship that merits space around the instruments, a natural acoustic and silky treble recovery, so this album justifies faith in FLAC. While the stereo element denies this 'sonic spectacular' status, as it's mixed to a near-mono lack of stage width, scarily 'real' moments like the a cappella opening of the last track, 'The Blackwood' will give you chills.