Emma Pollock – In Search of Harperfield [Chemikal Underground]

Former Delgados vocalist Emma Pollock, has just released her third studio album, In Search of HarperfieldI; featuring eleven equally distinct tracks, this album offers insight into different sides of the singer’s personality and musical style, while developing a story and featuring varying imagery mirrored by each arrangement within the each track.

Without a doubt, there is a great deal of underlying history throughout, prevalent in the album’s striking lyrics.

As Pollock has admitted, the album’s opening track, ‘Cannot Keep A Secret’, is a personal telling of her family history, and by opening her album with this, she welcomes us into her open book of memories and imagination.

Tracks such as ‘Don’t Make Me Wait’ and ‘Alabaster’ introduce a darker element to the album, with ‘Alabaster’ especially appearing mysterious and haunting with a fairy-tale feel to the lyrics.

There is a mythical theme running throughout the album conveyed through the contrast of tracks such as ‘Intermission’, which features a heavy and powerful arrangement, alongside tracks such as ‘Clemency’ – appearing lighter and dream-like in its structure.

‘Parks and Recreation’ and ‘Vacant Stare’ move away from the mysterious and experimental sound, displaying an indie/rock style – a small reminder of Pollock’s earlier work with The Delgados.

The most impressive track on the album is the closing track ‘Old Ghosts’; as the title suggests, the track features Pollock delving into her past and opening the song to her memories and experience, concluding the narrative of the album while featuring a musical arrangement that flows beautifully.

This is an intelligent and deep album, which musically matches up to the very high standard of lyrical storytelling running throughout its entirety.

Words: Orla Brady

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