Music / Premieres
Video Premiere:
Workhorse - Rode A River
Words by James Lynch
Thursday 17th November, 2022
Following the release of Workhorse’s stunning debut album No Photographs, today we’ve got the pleasure of sharing the new film clip for album highlight ’Rode A River’, which places the track’s stark and compelling dream-folk atmosphere atop the expansive backdrop of Arrernte country in Mparntwe/Alice Spring.
Released back in August, Workhorse’s debut album No Photographs arrived as a striking introduction to Kaurna land/Adelaide songwriter Harriet Fraser-Barbour, and quickly amassed a tonne of acclaim from around the country and beyond; at the time, we noted that the record “shines in its re-imagining of classic sounds and timeless songwriting into a completely incisive, unpredictable and enthralling journey”. Now three months on, Harriet has returned with one more offering, a brand new clip for ‘Rode A River’ that sees the cinematic and apocalyptic world of Workhorse continuing to expand open.

With its lean guitars, minimalist percussion rattles and Harriet’s smokey vocals, ‘Rode A River’ is one of the album’s most direct moments, loaded with swagger and melodrama amidst its eerie storytelling and subversive whip cracks. When speaking about the clip, director James Haskard explained that capturing Harriet performing atop of the dry landscapes and sweeping skies of Arrernte and Arabana country “felt like the perfect way to capture the spirit of Workhorse the way the song wanted”, and it’s a fitting comment, as ‘Rode The River’ feels completely embedded with the reverential yet rebellious spirit that Workhorse possesses right across No Photographs.

Speaking about the song and clip, Harriet shares “While the music video is not strictly narrative driven, it alludes to a lonesome traveller in a timeless land. The Australian outback has always inspired my imagination to conjure up images of a pre-colonial Australia, or perhaps a post-apocalyptic Australia - nothing but huge stretches of countryside and clues as to the civilisations that endure it. When I have dreams about disaster or destruction, I wake and think about climate change and about the ways that capitalism plunders and pillages our landscapes, and then I think of the First Nations people who nurtured the land and lived harmoniously amongst it for over 60,000 years! I think about a story I heard of a woman whose traditional lands were along the Murrumbidgee River, of the stories her mother shared of walking down to the banks in the morning to sacred women's land, to lie naked in the sand in the sun. And now that river bed is dry and the fish are dying. Thousands of years of stories passed down, of an oral history - leading us here to a new story, of grief and loss and destruction. That's what inspired the lyrics to the song. The clip was filmed on Arrernte country, and I'd like to acknowledge and thank the Arrernte people for their continued care of this land, and to also pay my respects to their elders (past, present and emerging).”

No Photographs is out now via Dinosaur City Records - head to to purchase the album on limited vinyl.
Photo by Zac Snoswell