Those unfamiliar with her work might assume, listening to her new album Stranger, that Joanne Pollock is a folk singer that is just now exploring the world of electronics, but Pollock has always been an electronic artist. That being said, it would be an easy assumption to make; Pollock has all the skill of a more traditional singer-songwriter. She uses electronic instruments, but never lets them dominate. They have their place, but Pollock's voice is always at the centre of things.
Opening track "Carnival" is filled with eccentric, tinkering beats and sinister bass synths, and yet that all takes a back seat to her vocals, which, while achingly beautiful, can be forceful in punctuating her commentary ("Maybe I'm just getting older").
Intriguingly, there are elements of hip-hop here, but that's just one facet of this multi-genre gem. Whether it's the discordant synths on "Myself Apart," the confusing beat in "Jealous Mind" or the giddy vocal arrangements of "You Know I Would Do Anything," Pollock never shies away from the unconventional. Yet, there's enough warmth, folk, pop and soul here to satisfy listeners of virtually any stripe. (Timesig / Planet Mu)