December 8, 1958 |
Born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1958, 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. 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. 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. A full-length album, Below the Waves, followed in 1989, featuring her brother Christopher on acoustic guitar (who also played on her later albums). Her relationship with Creation broke down, and she left, stating "I simply felt that they didn't understand me".
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, 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. The self-titled Heidi Berry album focused on "being unlucky in love and in life."
In 1999 she collaborated with Patrick Fitzgerald of Kitchens of Distinction as Lost Girls, releasing the single "Needle's Eye". Lost Girls' long-awaited album was released in October 2014 by 3 Loop Music on vinyl, download and as a 2CD expanded edition (featuring demos and extra tracks).
Berry now teaches at the Brighton Institute of Modern Music.
Berry's music has been compared to Nick Drake, Sandy Denny, Sarah McLachlan and Beth Orton, and described as "highly orchestrated folk-rock" The Boston Globe described her as sounding "like a majestic cross between Sandy Denny, Enya and Sade". Charlotte Robinson of PopMatters described her styles as essentially "folk", with "dark, Celtic instrumental flourishes and layered vocals". Barry Didcock of the Sunday Herald argues that Berry might be "the great overlooked voice of acoustic rock." Berry cites Billie Holiday and Chrissie Hynde as influences.
- 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
- 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
- Strong, Martin C. (2003) The Great Indie Discography, Canongate, ISBN 1-84195-335-0, p. 221
- Ankeny, Jason "Heidi Berry Biography", Allmusic, retrieved 2010-10-16
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- Raggett, Ned "Below the Waves Review", Allmusic, retrieved 2010-10-16
- Sexton, Paul (1996) "4AD's Heidi Berry Spawns a Miracle", Billboard, 21 September 1996, p. 9, 79, retrieved 2010-10-16
- Semon, Craig S. (15 August 1993). "When Heidi Berry gets down, she really gets down". Telegram & Gazette. Globe Newspaper Company. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
- "Lost Girls - Lost Girls - TM Stores". 3loopmusic.tmstor.es. 2014-10-20. Retrieved 2016-05-05.
- Mason, Stewart "Heidi Berry Review", Allmusic, retrieved 2010-10-16
- Morse, Steve (1991) "Heidi Berry Love 4AD", Boston Globe, 12 December 1991, p. 6
- Robinson, Charlotte (2001) "Heidi Berry Pomegranate", PopMatters, retrieved 2010-10-16
- Didcock, Barry (18 March 2001). "Rock Heidi Berry Pomegranate: An Anthology (4AD)". Sunday Herald. Newsquest. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
- Draper, Jimmy "Pomegranate Review", Allmusic, retrieved 2010-10-16