Cherilyn MacNeil is the South African singer and songstress most widely known under the pseudonym Dear Reader. Her singular style of alternative pop is simultaneously vulnerable and melodramatic, a curious juxtaposition of lightness and darkness, at once heart-warming and disturbing. Listening to the music she creates conjures up the ghosts of her classical piano training, her upbringing in the church, her love affair with musicals and the folk music she was raised on. She founded Dear Reader in 2008 with producer and bassist Darryl Torr, and they brought out their highly acclaimed debut Replace Why With Funny through the esteemed Berlin-based indie label, City Slang. 2009 saw the band supporting celebrated acts such as Lambchop and Andrew Bird before going on to play prestigious stages throughout Europe and the UK in their own right. In 2010 MacNeil relocated from Johannesburg to Berlin, and Dear Reader became her solo project. Since then she’s recorded and released two further Dear Reader albums and played hundreds of stages throughout Europe and South Africa. She also wrote score for the acclaimed Berlinborn feature film, Oh Boy, work which won her and her co-conspirators the Deutsche Filmpreis for Best Film Music in 2013.
Listen to DEAR READER