|Origin||Johannesburg, South Africa|
|Genres||Alternative, Folk Rock|
|Years active||2006 – present|
|Associated acts||Harris Tweed, Ramona Falls, Marching Band|
|Past members||Darryl Torr|
Dear Reader is an alternative/pop band from Johannesburg, South Africa. The band was founded in 2006 by singer-songwriter Cherilyn MacNeil and producer/bass player, Darryl Torr. Dear Reader is now the solo project of Cherilyn MacNeil.
In August 2006 MacNeil and Torr released their first album, The Younger, through South African record label, Just Music, under the band name, Harris Tweed. In 2008 they adopted the name Dear Reader, after the Scottish textile company Harris Tweed asked them to stop using their name.
In 2008 MacNeil and Torr recorded their first album as Dear Reader called, Replace Why with Funny. The album was produced by Brent Knopf, of Menomena/Ramona Falls (band). Soon after, they signed a licensing deal with Berlin based indie label, City Slang, and the album was released in February 2009 – in Europe by City Slang, and in South Africa by Just Music.
In 2010 'Replace Why with Funny' won the award for Best English Adult contemporary Album at the South African Music Awards.
In 2010 MacNeil and Torr amicably parted ways and Cherilyn relocated to Berlin, where she wrote the material for the follow-up Dear Reader album, Idealistic Animals. The album was recorded in Leipzig, Germany and Portland, Oregon, again with the assistance of Brent Knopf and various other friends and musicians.
Idealistic Animals was released in Germany and South Africa in September 2011 and in Europe and the UK in November 2011. The album was nominated for Best Alternative Album at the 2012 South African Music Awards.
In 2012 MacNeil began work on the follow up to 'Idealistic Animals'. This time, MacNeil produced the album herself, and recorded and edited most of it in her one-room apartment in Berlin. Dear Reader's 4th studio album is called 'Rivonia', and each song on the album is a story inspired by South African history. The album is scheduled for release in Europe and South Africa in April 2013.
Guest Appearances on the album Rivonia
Earl Harvin on drums, percussion & bass Samuel Vance-Law on violin & vocals Martin Wenk on the horns Friedrich Brückner on bassoon Bernd & Isabel Brückner on clarinet, saxophone & flute Giovanni Nicoletta on bass Erik Sunbring on electric guitar & vocals
Vocals by Konstantin Gropper, Caoimhe McAlister, Emma Greenfield, Deniz Jaspersen, Sven van Thom & Laurent Martin
Choir: Friederike Scharlau, Daniel Ziesche, Joachim Berger, Tabea Köbler, Franz Prante, Jonas Wehner, Katja Rößler, Franziska Schmidt, Matthias Simmler, Jonas Wehner, Michael Schiedt, Doreen Seifert, Friedrich Brückner, Lerato Maleka, Teresa Schulz and Carina Ulbricht.
Guest Appearances on the album Idealistic Animals
Brent Knopf, Jean-Louise Nel, Martin Wenk (of Calexico), Jacob Lind, Erik Sunbring, Caoimhe McAlister, Fritz, Bernt and Isabel Brückner, Matt Sheehy, Dave Depper, Mark Shirazi, Sven Michelson, John Askew, Jessica Beer, Christopher Cotter, Jen Dolan, Tamara Harris, Bennet Baily, Thom Fahrbach.
Current Touring Members of Dear Reader
Samuel Vance-Law, Emma Greenfield, Thomas Fietz, Michael Vinne, Caoimhe McAlister, Jean-Louise Nel, Alexander Parker
Previous Live Members
- Harris Tweed – Alan Shenton, Darren Leader, Hannah Botsis, Courtenay Farquharson
- Dear Reader – Darryl Torr, Michael Wright, Martin Wenk, Jacob Lind, Erik Sunbring
- The Younger (2006)
- Replace Why with Funny (2009)
- Idealistic Animals (2011)
- Rivonia (2013)
- Live Under the Pillows (2007)