Ken Pomeroy “Christmas Lights in April”

Horton Records, 2021

Sweet voiced third album release from Oklahoma-based 19 year old Cherokee singer-songwriter Pomeroy.

artwork for Ken Pomeroy album "Christmas Lights in April"Although only 19 years old, ‘Christmas Lights in April’ is the third album release from Cherokee singer-songwriter Ken Pomeroy, hailing from Moore, Oklahoma. From the opening track ‘Joan’ her fresh, vital voice shines through, against a stripped back arrangement, with folk style finger-picked acoustic guitar at the fore, and pedal steel adding atmosphere to a sad tale, where “Flowers grow and they wither away/just like I knew we would/times like these I can hardly speak/ about how I feel/because Joan cries alone tonight/Joan cries alone tonight/Joan cries alone tonight/Joan cries alone tonight.”

Pomeroy’s voice has been compared with Joni Mitchell and Jade Bird, and both can be heard in her vocals, which combine sweetness with fragility in her emotional delivery. Her lyrics throughout display maturity and depth, on ‘Flannel Cowboy’, a raw guitar-only arrangement with lo-fi recording, she confesses to the afore-said cowboy that “I broke you like a mirror into pieces/a few of me, staring back in disbelief/Honey I swear I didn’t mean to/I’ve never loved someone like I loved you”.

The pain of lost love is a theme Pomeroy returns to in the title track, another stripped back acoustic guitar track ‘Christmas Lights in April’, which closes the album, “Your sweater is hanging in my closet/it’s rugged/from all the times I’ve worn it/since you’re a ghost that haunts a house that isn’t yours/subtle hints that you’re still tied to me like a street sign with your middle name”.

‘Truth’ has an interesting twist on a well-known phrase as Pomeroy sings “I know that I can’t wait any longer/I hope to find someone like you/people say what kills you makes you stronger/but I know/that’s not the truth”.

Reflecting on her songwriting, she says “Previously I used a lot of metaphor to mask what I was actually trying to say and left it up to the listener to decide what their take on it was and how it resonated with them. With this record, it is the transition period of my songwriting. I have recently tried to write more honest songs and be okay with people knowing what I am feeling. I have struggled all of my life with the ‘constantly being seen’ aspect of being a musician. Being young and not exactly sure how you feel is difficult in and of itself. Writing songs and having other people perceive your feelings that you aren’t even sure about is a whole other experience. I was writing a lot with an outside perspective throughout ‘Hallways‘ ( her last release) and with ‘Christmas Lights in April’ was self-reflecting and trying to get to know myself.”

Released on the Tulsa-based label Horton Records the album was recorded by Jason Weinheimer, who also plays bass on the release, at Fellowship Hall Sound in Little Rock, Arkansas. Kyle Reid plays pedal steel, electric guitar, Hammond M3 and bass synth, and Pomeroy’s father Skippy is credited as ‘HMFIC’ which a quick online check reveals to be the acronym for ‘Head motherfucker in charge’.

Fine songwriting, folk-style guitar and sweet vocals combine for an impressive release from young talent Pomeroy.

8/10
8/10

About David Jarman 72 Articles
Long time fan of Americana genre, from early days of Ry Cooder, through to today's thriving scene. Regular visitor to USA ( Nashville/Austin/Memphis/LA ) live music junkie, I play guitar, mandolin, harmonica, plus vocals, run monthly jam session in Broadstairs

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