Heidi Berry

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Heidi Berry
Born (1958-12-08)December 8, 1958
Boston, Massachusetts
Genres Folk
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1987–1999
Labels Creation, 4AD

Heidi Berry (born 1958) is an American singer-songwriter who recorded for Creation Records and 4AD in the late 1980s and 1990s.

Biography[edit]

Born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1958,[1] Berry's mother was a jazz singer with Québécois roots, and her father was an actor. Her mother remarried and the family moved to London in 1973.[1][2] While studying print-making at college, she recorded a demo tape in 1985, which eventually found its way to Creation Records boss Alan McGee via her then boyfriend Pete Astor.[2] She signed to Creation in 1987, releasing Firefly, a six-song mini-album, recorded with Martin Duffy of Felt on keyboards and members of Astor's band The Weather Prophets.[1][3][4] A full-length album, Below the Waves, followed in 1989, featuring her brother Christopher on acoustic guitar (who also played on her later albums).[1][5] Her relationship with Creation broke down, and she left, stating "I simply felt that they didn't understand me".[6]

In 1991, Ivo Watts-Russell asked Berry to sing "'Til I Gain Control Again" on the third album by This Mortal Coil (Blood), and over the next five years she recorded three albums for 4AD,[1] Love, Heidi Berry and Miracle. Love featured Martin McCarrick (of Siouxsie & the Banshees), Terry Bickers and Laurence O'Keefe (of Levitation), Ian Kearey (Oysterband) and Lol Coxhill.[1] The self-titled Heidi Berry album focused on "being unlucky in love and in life."[7]

In 1999 she collaborated with Patrick Fitzgerald of Kitchens of Distinction as Lost Girls, releasing the single "Needle's Eye".[1] Lost Girls' long-awaited album will be released in October 2014 by 3 Loop Music on vinyl, download and as a 2CD expanded edition (featuring demos and extra tracks).[8]

Berry now teaches at the Brighton Institute of Modern Music.

Musical style[edit]

Berry's music has been compared to Nick Drake, Sandy Denny, Sarah McLachlan and Beth Orton, and described as "highly orchestrated folk-rock"[2][9] The Boston Globe described her as sounding "like a majestic cross between Sandy Denny, Enya and Sade".[10] Charlotte Robinson of PopMatters described her styles as essentially "folk", with "dark, Celtic instrumental flourishes and layered vocals".[11] Barry Didcock of the Sunday Herald argues that Berry might be "the great overlooked voice of acoustic rock."[12] Berry cites Billie Holiday and Chrissie Hynde as influences.[13]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

  • Firefly (1987), Creation
  • Below the Waves (1989), Creation
  • Love (1991), 4AD
  • Heidi Berry (1993), 4AD
  • Miracle (1996), 4AD
  • Pomegranate: an Anthology (2001), 4AD - compilation of 4AD and Creation material

Singles, EPs[edit]

  • Distant Thunder (1992), Warner Bros. - promo CD with "Zither Song", "You Upset the Grace of Living When You Lie", "Gloria"
  • Soil Samples 13 (1993), Warner Bros. - 7-inch promo single, "Unholy Light" (B-side by Unrest)
  • The Moon and the Sun (1993), 4AD

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Strong, Martin C. (2003) The Great Indie Discography, Canongate, ISBN 1-84195-335-0, p. 221
  2. ^ a b c Ankeny, Jason "Heidi Berry Biography", Allmusic, retrieved 2010-10-16
  3. ^ Larkin, Colin (1998) The Virgin Encyclopedia of Indie & New Wave, Virgin Books, ISBN 0-7535-0231-3, p. 41
  4. ^ Anderson, Lydia "Heidi Berry", Trouser Press, retrieved 2010-10-16
  5. ^ Raggett, Ned "Below the Waves Review", Allmusic, retrieved 2010-10-16
  6. ^ Sexton, Paul (1996) "4AD's Heidi Berry Spawns a Miracle", Billboard, 21 September 1996, p. 9, 79, retrieved 2010-10-16
  7. ^ Semon, Craig S. (15 August 1993). "When Heidi Berry gets down, she really gets down". Telegram & Gazette (Globe Newspaper Company). Retrieved 13 June 2014. 
  8. ^ http://3loopmusic.tmstor.es/cart/product.php?id=18618
  9. ^ Mason, Stewart "Heidi Berry Review", Allmusic, retrieved 2010-10-16
  10. ^ Morse, Steve (1991) "Heidi Berry Love 4AD", Boston Globe, 12 December 1991, p. 6
  11. ^ Robinson, Charlotte (2001) "Heidi Berry Pomegranate", PopMatters, retrieved 2010-10-16
  12. ^ Didcock, Barry (18 March 2001). "Rock Heidi Berry Pomegranate: An Anthology (4AD)". Sunday Herald (Newsquest). Retrieved 13 June 2014. 
  13. ^ Draper, Jimmy "Pomegranate Review", Allmusic, retrieved 2010-10-16

External links[edit]