Emily Barker

EMILY BARKER studies servitude during incarceration

EMILY BARKER’S 2020 album “A Dark Murmuration of Words”  has already been described as “one of the most literate and probing folk albums of the year...” [Ann Powers, NPR Music]  and songs from the masterpiece have been added to Spotify’s own Fresh Folk playlist while the disc has been nominated under two categories for next year’s UK AMERICANA AWARDS.


Now the Australian-born singer-songwriter and musician, living in the UK since 2002, has released a stunning new single from the critically acclaimed album.

The new number “Machine” was inspired by Ava DuVernay’s powerful documentary 13th that explores the intersection of race, justice and mass incarceration in the United States; The 13th Amendment abolished slavery in the United States and ended involuntary servitude in 1865 yet DuVernay examines the prison industrial complex and how an emerging detention industrial atmosphere is creating wealth for big corporations through servitude during incarceration.

Ava DuVernay’s 13th

To this day, global corporations continue to benefit from cheap labour from the system of penal servitude,” Emily says.

The same machine that perpetuates slavery around the globe also perpetuates the abuse of the planet”


This amazing number contains gentle pulpitry yet comes underpinned by the groaning sounds of industrializing clicks, clacks, and whines… Here comes the thwack of heavy machinery… the wheeze and sweat of forced labor. The voice is bloodwood & catbird molt to bring something that is truly compelling & fomenting.

Words: @neilmach 2020 ©

File alongside: PJ Harvey

Link: https://www.facebook.com/EmilyBarkerHalo/

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