Artist Picks // Dear Reader
I was born in South Africa, and lived in Johannesburg (a frenetic, troubled, interesting place, with the best weather in the world) until 18 months ago, when I relocated to Berlin (a chilled-out, fun-filled but complex city in which I am terrifically happy to reside). I am a rather loud, often child-like, always earnest, seriously serious and overly sensitive human. I also happen to write songs sometimes in order to express myself.
The last couple of years have been rather barren on the music listening front. I somehow just haven't had the drive to listen to any. And when i do listen I tend to put on the old favorites; Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell, Cat Stevens, Fleetwood Mac… But I've recently started listening a little again, and two new things that have caught my ear are Tune-Yards and Tame Impala.
I have been down at the Natal coast on holiday with my family and today I finished 'Everything is Illuminated' by Jonathan Safran Foer. I enjoyed it immensely - I think it's now up there with some of my favorite books of all time. But feel like I need to read it again (or perhaps a few more times) because it's so rich with detail, and I tend to race through novels.
On our last tour I started watching 'Breaking Bad' in the van and got completely hooked. My laptop and earphones became permanent accessories during long drives. It's pretty intense, and I tend to get really caught up in things I read or watch, so sometimes it got me into a really strange mood (which can't have been much fun for my band mates).
Shapenote Music. My latest obsession is singing from the Sacred Harp, a sort of hymnal containing some of the oldest American music (it was first published in the 1800's). Shapenote music is sung in four parts and is completely experiential. It's singing for the sake of singing. There is no rehearsing, performing or recording involved. I recently spent time in Prague with people from all over Europe where we sang together all day. I was hoarse afterwards, but still didn't want it to be over.
Being back in South Africa in summer has been a treat because I'm getting to eat lots of fresh tropical fruit (something I really miss in Europe during the long winter months). I've also been enjoying eating game - meat that I can eat and only feel a teensy bit guilty about (in contrast to most other meat, which I sometimes eat, but feel a lot more guilty about).
Dear Reader is playing with Laura Gibson at The Social in London on 16 January 2012. Her new album, Idealistic Animals, is out via City Slang the week before on January 9th.