Emma Pollock – In Search Of Harperfield: So much more than memories

Searching for Harperfield

Emma Pollock – In Search Of Harperfield to me is a surprising discovery. I like the album despite it being different from the music I’m usually preferring. The music is dreamy, reminiscent of something long gone but at the same time sometimes very determined. In Search Of Harperfield is a personal album. The Scotland born singer is trying to circle in on her own past. She is trying to understand the world her parents lived in, is trying to see that world through their eyes. “Harperfield” was her childhood home and this album is her attempt to understand her parent’s lives, their situation.

Our childhood memories are often transfigured. The images in our minds from childhood days are filtered, a bit blurred, somewhat inflated, even distorted. Emma Pollock is trying to see through these veils. She is trying to understand what her parent’s world was like. What did they feel? How did they feel?

More than an autobiographie

Granted, In Search Of Harperfield is to some extent an autobiographical album. But there is more. It is way more complex, goes beyond that. Emma Pollock is trying to shift perspectives, gain a more neutral, balanced point of view. This journey back in time is coined by a feeling of longing, perhaps desperation that shines strongly from her music. Her desire to get back to Harperfield is a constant feeling evident everywhere in this album.

The loving atmosphere of this music leaves no doubt about the point that Emma enjoyed her childhood most of the time and up t a certain point. She is enjoys traveling down memory lane, picking up shards and sparks left and right, trying to perhaps rebuild an image that is closer to the truth, and deeper. Still there are questions being asked throughout the album. Some discerning, some with an almost childishly curiosity. The musical composition is extremely well done for it makes comprehensible what Emma Pollock is trying, makes her yearning appreciable, present.

An adult album

At first I thought Emma Pollock – In Search Of Harperfield could be some sort of a “girls album”. Many aspects of the album are – at first glance – tempting you to think that way, especially when you stop listening to what is happening there. It’s the lyrics that are building the counterweight to the gentle, still complex compositions. This is not about the romantic fantasies of a grown up how wonderful everything was back then. The singer is walking too many different roads, exploring too many different perspectives for such a simple approach, which in the end might very likely lead to conflicts and trouble.

These conflicts, hinted at, are like shadows cast by a lit fireplace. Subtle images, fleeting glimpses, spectres. A feeling, an idea of darkness shadows the album, an unspoken pain. Emma Pollock manages with surprising elegance to counterbalance this melancholic feeling of sadness, confronts it with cheeky wit and honest joy. It is this what pushes the envelope of this undoubtedly well done album towards an exceptional album to take notice of – and enjoy.

Emma Pollock – In Search Of Harperfield out on Jan. 29. 2016 via Chemikal Underground / rough trade

Emma Pollocks Website: http://emmapollock.com/

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