Friday 19 February 2016

In Search Of Harperfield - Emma Pollok

Emma Pollok's 3rd album opens with Cannot Keep A Secret and it sets the tone for a remarkable journey through 11 songs that are imaginative, emotive, fun and ambitious. Pollok is in fine form (career high?) throughout - lyrically clever and bold, melodically playful and soulful in voice.

Will you dip your toes gently in the water, send the ripples home.....

Don't Make Me Wait has a sense of urgency with choppy, punky guitar chords backed by strings and pounding drums with Emma searching for a flashlight, just to get through the night

The opening instrumental to Clemency is absolutely beautiful, the combination of piano and strings sound glorious. Pollok's voice is more than a match and she has the ability to vary her vocals across the album to suit the songs and music. One of my faves.

Intermission is anything but, Pollok dives in deep following another lovely instrumental intro

I clutch to my chest
This man I know best
With words only spoken
When put to the test

Hold close to my heart
Will not be apart
From this woman who made me
She's stronger than that

Later on she sings; I'm not asking for permission, I'm calling this an intermission

The album is rich in content - lyrically and musically, one that you can return to and continue to explore. Intermission is a remarkably honest and soulful song, probably my favourite on the album.

Parks And Recreation is a great fuzzy indie guitar pop song with Emma talking about wishing she knew the names of the trees, naming all the leaves and worrying about leaves falling on her. The lyrics are playful and imaginative, there are handclaps and the guitars sound fantastic.

Pollok's thoughts, fears, ideas and imagination are pouring out of her on the album and on Vacant Stare she sings I'm just looking for someone to tell the truth to. She is telling anyone who listens to this album.

There are some truly beautiful moments throughout the album, the content inspires loving melodies and music. Dark Skies is playful and tender.

I like to keep my fairytales on shelves
My Goldilocks doesn't need explaining
Why can't it be just as simple as it looks?
Don't need a sermon to balance these books

The album closes with the gorgeous Old Ghosts. There is a sense of calmness to the song, the playing, production and vocals. Pollok's voice sounds rich, soulful, clear and true.

In Search Of Harperfield is beautiful on first listen, richly rewarding when you return to it - and you will want to return and delve into the lyrics and the melodies and enjoy the gorgeous strings, the stunning piano, the fuzzy guitars and Pollok singing her heart out.

An early contender for the 2016 Scottish Album of the Year.

1 comment:

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