Monday, September 03, 2007

Emma Pollock: Watch the Fireworks


I’m starting the new week with the return of an old favourite. I’ve spent a bit of time over the weekend, cooking in my kitchen and listening to the new album by Emma Pollock, formerly of The Delgados. It’s very good.

I know that there was a lot of disappointment when Pollock’s former band split two years ago, after releasing five consistently good albums, in particular the Mercury-nominated The Great Eastern, which I think is one of the most under-appreciated great albums of the past 10 years. But I’m sure that there will be a big interest in what Emma’s doing now amongst old Delgados fans.

Despite the title, there’s not much within Watch the Fireworks to get the pulses racing with excitement at something unexpectedly new and innovative, but that’s not really the point. What you will find is an album to warm the soul, and which will bring fresh understated pleasure with every listen. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it sounds a lot like Emma’s former band, as you might expect with her husband and former Delgados’ drummer Paul Savage on drums, percussion and some of the recording duties. To continue the whole homespun thing, it was also recorded in the band’s own studios in Blantyre, Lanarkshire. But having such a familiar sound is no bad thing in my book, particularly when it’s a sound that I’m so fond of. Here Comes the Heartbreak and If Silence Means That Much to You are particular highlights in this vein. That said, when Emma takes up an acoustic guitar for quieter songs like Limbs, The Optimist and The Rope’s Getting Tighter, the results are equally impressive. There’s simply a high quality of songwriting, which means that there’s not a duff track on the album. I’d like to think that there is a market for this record beyond the ranks of Delgados-nostalgists. I really hope so, because anyone with a love for warm, melodic indie rock, with decent lyrics and a bit of soul will be missing out by ignoring this.

Download: Emma Pollock – The Optimist
Download: Emma Pollock – Here Comes the Heartbreak

Pre-order Watch the Fireworks.

There’s an interview with Emma from yesterday’s Times, which is worth a wee look.

2 comments:

Matthew said...

How come every bastard has a promo copy of this bloody thing but me?? I am clearly not being taken seriously but the music industry in this country - it's enough to make you stamp your little foot and have a right old fucking tantrum.

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