Emma Pollock – In Search of Harperfield
Devotees of former indie magicians The Delgados will find much to love in Emma Pollock's third solo album since her revered band amicably split in 2005. The album's name refers to the first house bought by Pollock's parents after they married, and the pervading theme is a woman trying to make sense of the world she came from, a rural idyll of half remembered childhood memory, now returned to at a time of deep reflection on life, love and family.
Musically, Pollock retains the melodic chamber-pop elegance of her earlier songwriting, while stretching percussive chops and building an expansive darkness on songs like Old Ghosts. But despite the haunting ruminations on people and places, this is still an album replete with surging moments, from the teenage swagger of Parks and Recreation to the driving guitars of Vacant Stare and the honeyed cruel-to-be-kind advice of In The Company of The Damned. A poignant but punchy triumph then, perfectly timed for mid-winter maladies. [Dan Pillkington]