Release Date: Mar 2, 2010
Record label: Chemikal Underground
Genre(s): Rock, Alternative
You can sometimes tell a lot about a record from its cover. Take the one above. It’s deceptively simple, employing typefaces that hark back to another time, with weathered edges and precise alignment of slight elements to make a greater, considered whole. When opened up, the inner sleeve is layered up with a simple yet intricately accurate scientific diagram to denote who plays what on the record.
When going solo from a respected indie act, one should always ask ‘What would [b]Björk[/b] do?’ [b]Pollock[/b] – honey-lunged heroine of Scottish bluster-popsters [b]The Delgados[/b] – disregarded this rule by chasing $$$s on her 2007 solo debut. Now Pollock has rediscovered her former band’s grandiose esoterica and stark, scratchy danger: [b]‘Hug The Harbour’[/b] is tribal alt. pop, [b]‘Nine Lives’[/b] sinister ragtime jazz and [b]‘I Could Be A Saint’[/b] sounds like the most tuneful slashings of a serial killer nicknamed The Xylophone.
If Belle and Sebastian are booking Bowlie Weekenders again, then surely their fellow Scots in the Delgados should be busy planning their reunion tour. If ever there were an under-appreciated, defunct indie rock band deserving of a second wind, it's the Glaswegian foursome who disbanded in the mid-2000s after five critically acclaimed but commercially ignored albums. However, founding member Emma Pollock may not be so eager to give into the lure of easy nostalgia and big festival guarantees, given the encouraging evolution of her solo career.
Ex-Delgados vocalist Emma Pollock's excellent 2007 solo debut, Watch the Fireworks, helped curb the hunger pangs felt by many fans after the beloved Scottish indie rockers called it quits in 2004. Hardly a dressed-down Delgados record, it utilized the best elements from the band while upping the hook factor and introducing some much-needed sunlight into the mix. Pollock, who wields a wily pen and an agreeable croon that falls somewhere between Chrissie Hynde and Aimee Mann, crafted another winner with 2010's Law of Large Numbers.
A songwriter usually has one or two instruments to discipline the muses. These days, this is a chronic difficulty as the pigeon hole “singer/songwriter” is stuffed so that even the carcasses cannot be removed. By the time Emma Pollock was able to take the deep breath needed to leave the chrysalis of a band in the wake of the Delgados’ unfortunate surrender, she had already clearly seen that to go solo was dangerous.
Long-term fans of Pollock, and The Delgados, will find their expectations met. Mike Diver 2010 The Delgados were one of the UK’s most consistently excellent bands. The Scottish quartet, of whom singer Emma Pollock was a founding member, released five studio albums, and were Mercury Prize nominated for their fantastic third, The Great Eastern, in 2000.
Emma Pollock charmed us with her blithe indie-pop on 2007’s Watch The Fireworks, but don’t expect more of the same on the former Delgados singer’s second album, The Law Of Large Numbers. A bit more esoteric and challenging, but equally entertaining and perhaps more rewarding, The Law Of Large numbers features a more dynamic and expansive sound. With husband and ex-Delgado Paul Savage producing, Pollock promised a more personal outing and it shows.