The spuriously named Pomegranate is an album to showcase the art of traditional songwriting from one of its foremost exponents, Heidi Berry. Described by 4AD founder Ivo Watts-Russell as “not about where she fitted in” but instead “it has great lasting value”, Berry’s music veers from overproduced soulful melody reminiscent of Enya or Capercaillie to uplifting folk, full of violins and jigs (also comparable with Capercaillie).
Follow, Cradle and Needle’s Eye are especially evocative of Enya, particularly in the use of synths and vocalisation to weave an all-engulfing tapestry of deepest feeling. The latter features vocals which verge on throat singing, so complex and stunning that the listener cannot help but focus on this facet of the song and to some extent ignore the rest.
Time and Northern Country are more heart-warming, despite tackling themes such as loneliness. The latter of these is every bit as well-crafted as Simple Minds‘ Belfast Child. Only Human is more of a Beverley Craven torchlight effort, sensual alto vocals laid lushly across a beautiful piano piece – and Washington Square is theme music waiting to happen.
Unlike so many supposed Best of albums, Pomegranate is a terrific introduction to a lady who really deserves to be far better known than she is, whose music is spiritual and superbly crafted. Anyone not moved to buy her previous albums after listening to this must be a lover of all boy bands.