Workhorse’s debut album ‘No Photographs’ inspired by queer cinema

Workhorse, the western-tinged, dream-pop project of Kaurna land (Adelaide) singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Harriet Fraser-Barbour, has unveiled their highly anticipated debut album No Photographs, out now on Dinosaur City Records.

Influenced by vast Australian landscapes, queer western films including Desert Hearts and Brokeback Mountain, apocalyptic dreams and the sounds of Julee Cruise, Chris Isaak and Mazzy Star, Workhorse’s debut album No Photographs was written and performed by Fraser-Barbour, who utilised Adelaide’s first lockdown in March 2020 to experiment with creating band music as a solo musician.

The first eight tracks of the album were recorded in just two days on reel-to-reel tape at Milestone Recording Studio in the Adelaide hills, with Harriet slowly layering additional instrumentation over the past two years, playing all instruments herself including guitar, bass, drums, slide guitar, organ and vocals, with additional pedal steel courtesy of Frank Boulden, and violin by Skye McNicol (Dag).

Workhorse formed in late 2016 when Fraser-Barbour invited a handful of friends and local musicians to collaborate on her recordings. The band went on to release their debut EP No Sun (2017) via underground label Tenth Court to acclaim from VICE, FBi Radio, Triple R and 4ZZZ among others. Following the EP’s release, Workhorse toured alongside Courtney Barnett, Jen Cloher and Mildlife, and scored slots on local festivals including Swirl Festival, Basket Range and Half Strange.

After a short hiatus, Workhorse returned in 2022 with singles Chain, No Photographs, and Darkness which earned the group new fans at The Guardian, The Music, Pilerats, Music Feeds, CityMag and New Commute among others.

No Photographs is now streaming, and available on limited-edition 12″ vinyl via Dinosaur City Records.

Image: Zac Snoswell

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