Peter Broderick: Blackberry review – Richly honest folk

Fri, Aug 21, 2020, 05:00

   
 

Album:
Blackberry

Artist:
Peter Broderick

Label:
Erased Tapes

Genre:
Singer / Songwriter

There’s no stopping Peter Broderick in either output or creative reach. He was once a member of Denmark’s Efterklang, and over the past dozen or so years has released more than 20 solo works that cover numerous music styles, including indie rock, soul, classical, spoken word, gospel and folk. It is to the last of these that he makes a compelling and idiosyncratic return on Blackberry.

This is his first vocal-led album in five years (since 2015’s Colours of the Night). He has described it as “experimental bedroom folk/pop”, and the man doesn’t fib. Across songs that ask fundamental questions (What Happened to Your Heart, What’s Wrong with a Straight Up Love Song), proffer sage if standard advice (Stop and Listen, Let it Go) and celebrate nature (Ode to Blackberry, Wild Food), Broderick locks into a level of understanding that can only come about when you have laid bare your emotions.

Such unabashed honesty raises its head in the lengthy What’s Wrong with a Straight Up Love Song, which outlines Broderick’s relationship with Galway singer and songwriter Brigid Mae Power. It’s an affecting and very intimate track that sits easily with the less intense (but just as captivating) material. And, just in case you’re thinking it’s all despondency, the album is littered throughout with humour – amid hints of Pete Seeger and John Prine hides the crafty, crusty howl of Ivor Cutler. Superb.