Emily Barker (from the album Sweet Kind of Blue)
Growing up in rural Australia, Emily Barker was introduced to music in a home without a television to babysit her during childhood. She learned harmony from her mother as she listened to her father’s record collection. Her own musical education began in her teens, when she was schooled though her discovery of artists such as Aretha Franklin, Koko Taylor, and Bettye Lavette. On her recent release, Sweet Kind of Blue, Emily Barker took her songs to Memphis, Tennessee, recording at Sam Phillips Recording Services, using A-List local players as her backing band. Sweet Kind of Blue becomes a vehicle for Emily Barker to give something back to the music that acted as a foundation and catalyst for her own career.
Emily Barker tenderly whispers vocals as a quiet storm that drifts over simple strums for “Hurricane No. 5”, strolls on an assured beat and thick guitar lines through “Under the Honey Moon”, and says goodbye “Over My Shoulder” as her ship slowly glides further from the shore. The sonics of Sweet Kind of Blue is a function of the studio synergy created which Emily recalled as ‘in this short amount of time (four days of tracking), myself and the musicians became very close. It’s a magical thing to experience: the rapid transition from strangers to life-long friends’. Sweet Kind of Blue wistfully watches the sun circle each day as she looks at “Change”, stays up late on a funky groove of chords chops and choir harmonies for “Sunrise”, opens the window to send out a come-home message with “More!”, and sinks deep into a Blue Soul for its title track. Emily Barker uses Jazz with the familiarity of a lifelong habit in “Sister Goodbye”, swoons on motel room memories backed by lush strings on “Crazy Life”, and reminds of the really important things in life with “If We Forget to Dance”.