Folk/indie pop duo Dear Reader were founded in their native Johannesburg, South Africa in 2006 by Cerilyn MacNeil (Singer/songwriter) and Darryl Torr (producer/bass player).
The pair originally called themselves Harris Tweed until the Scottish textile manufacturer of the same name requested that they desist. Having recast themselves as Dear Reader, MacNeil and Torr set about releasing their debut record, The Younger, on the South African record label Just Music. The album caught the attention of Berlin-based label City Slang, and the Brent Knopf (Menomena, Ramona Falls) produced Replace Why with Funny was eventually released in 2009 through that label. By 2010, Torr had decided he wanted to leave the group, so he and MacNeil split amicably. Finding herself flying solo, MacNeil decamped to Berlin to be closer to her record label and the friends she had made there while touring, and begin work on a new record. Idealistic Animals appeared in 2011 under the Dear Reader name, despite being the first album without Torr. Although for all intents and purposes it had become a solo venture, MacNeil has stated that Dear Reader was a collaborative project for which she utilized the friends she had at her disposal. She chose to self-produce the follow-up record Rivonia. Each of the songs on the album tells a story in the folk tradition of her native country, and the collection was nominated for two South African Music Awards in 2013. In the same year, she also recorded and released her first live album, which documented her performance with the Babelsberg Film Orchestra for a live radio concert. Following that release, it would be four years before she produced any new material. In 2016, it was announced that the fifth Dear Reader record was on its way in 2017, and it was preceded by the single "I Know You Can Hear It." ~ Bekki Bemrose