Following the release of the blissful and poignant single ‘Return Me’, acclaimed UK based singer-songwriter Emily Barker has announced that her forthcoming album, A Dark Murmuration of Words, will be released on 4th September on Thirty Tigers. Emily has also released a lyric video for her beautiful new single, ‘The Woman Who Planted Trees’.
‘The Woman Who Planted Trees’ was inspired by Kenyan activist Wangari Maathai, who founded The Green Belt Movement in order to reforest degraded land to provide food and empower women in her community. Emily’s commanding vocals keep the listener grounded on ‘The Woman Who Planted Trees’, just like the trees and nature that she sings about.
Of the single Emily Barker said, “I grew up planting trees with my family along the Blackwood River to help prevent erosion, and in barren paddocks that had been cleared for livestock during colonisation”, she added. “Those lessons stuck with me and I’ve continued to support tree-planting schemes, especially in Australia where there are huge problems with salinity due to swathes of land being cleared by the early settlers.”
Produced by Greg Freeman (Portico Quartet, Peter Gabriel, Amy Winehouse) and recorded with an incredible band featuring Rob Pemberton (drums, percussion, synth, backing vocals), Lukas Drinkwater (bass, guitars, backing vocals), Pete Roe (guitars, keys, backing vocals), Misha Law and Emily Hall (strings), A Dark Murmuration of Words searches for the invisible connections that shape a rapidly shifting modern world. Recorded at StudiOwz in Pembrokeshire, Wales, the album is a timely exploration of climate change, racism, sexism, and myths of economic progress through the lens of what it means to return “home.”
Emily draws connections between the familial, the local, and the global: a mother sings to her unborn child, asking for its forgiveness on “Strange Weather”; ‘When Stars Cannot Be Found’ explores the humbleness and comfort of the night sky when far away from home. Other highlights include the nostalgic ‘Return Me’, the gloriously defiant ‘Machine’ and the effortless album closer ‘Sonogram’.
Emily’s last album Sweet Kind of Blue was recorded at Sam Phillips Recording Service in Memphis with Grammy-winning producer Matt Ross-Spang (Jason Isbell, Margo Price). The success of the album and the globe-trotting tours to support it helped land Emily the accolade of UK Artist of the Year at the 2018 UK Americana Awards held at Hackney Empire in London. She is perhaps best known as the writer and performer of the award-winning theme to BBC crime drama Wallander starring Kenneth Branagh. She has released music as a solo artist as well as with various bands including The Red Clay Halo, Vena Portae and Applewood Road and has written for film, including composing her first feature film soundtrack (for Jake Gavin’s lauded debut feature Hector starring Peter Mullan and Keith Allen).
Artist’s website: www.emilybarker.com
‘The Woman Who Planted Trees’ – lyric video: