out now: Polly Scattergood – Arrows [Mute]

 

Artist:
Polly Scattergood

 

Title:
Arrows

 

Label:
Mute

 

Cat#:
STUMM328

 

Release Date:
18th October 2013

 

Format:
CD, vinyl & digital

 

Tracklist:
01.
Cocoon

02.
Falling

03.
Disco Damaged Kid

04.
Machines

05.
Silver Lining

06.
Colours Colliding

07.
I’ve Got A Heart

08.
Subsequently Lost

09.
Wanderlust

10.
Miss You

 

Info (English):
“To make music forever would be my dream. Without it I honestly don’t know what I’d do or where I’d be. And I’ve been given time to sculpt every single track, every noise, every soundscape… I’m very excited about this album…” Polly Scattergood

Arrows is the second album from Polly Scattergood, whose self-titled 2009 debut on Mute yielded ear-catching, intimate, intense songs rippling with confessional candour. It also offered a simmering range of sounds and electronica in excelsis, all of which suggested that there were many divergent paths this young talent might yet choose to explore.

Arrows, her forthcoming release, is an instantly addictive album: inventive, forceful and restless, it is ripe with – as the title of the first single suggests – ‘Wanderlust’. As on her first album, her songs are marked by a mix of storytelling and soul-searching; but the lyrics also look outwards and heavenwards, spinning sonic playfulness around while stretching for new skylines.

The London-based musician is habitually prolific, but Polly found herself besieged with writer’s block after her first album. She’d always enjoyed writing on piano in her one-room attic; it had a ladder to a rooftop with a view of the whole of London, and was “a special place for me”. When, after a broken relationship, everything she wrote sounded too similar to her debut, she felt compelled “to push myself, to not stagnate”. She experimented with different locations and co-writers. “The space around me changes how I write.” There followed sessions in Brighton and then London, where she honed the sound she sought.

Finally, upon meeting Glenn Kerrigan, things clicked immediately. The pair (now also a live duo) travelled to Berlin, and then by contrast to the Norfolk countryside, to write the songs that became Arrows Ken Thomas (whose CV includes work with M83, Maps, Sigur Ros, Dave Gahan, Cocteau Twins, PIL.) came on board to produce.

“Once we’re recording, it’s my favorite thing in the world,” avers Polly. “But it’d taken a good two years to get the sound exactly perfect, how I wanted it. I tend to dwell on details — something of a perfectionist. I’m at my happiest playing with sounds.” On Arrows, those aforementioned sounds pulsate and prickle, soar and stutter, murmur and rage. Polly wanted the album to be uplifting, cathartic, strong and positive. “It’s easy to write a sad song,” claims Polly, “but harder to create something that makes people dance.”

If there’s euphoria in the music, there is still elegy in the words. “Some of it is about love and loss. But it’s also about moving on from that. The key is the moving on, pulling your self together again. The album’s journey started with I’ve Got A Heart. But then we move through the positives in ‘Wanderlust’, ‘Disco-Damaged Kid’, ‘Colours
Colliding’…”

It’s limiting to ask into what “genre” such a multi-faceted and heartfelt album “fits”, but “Like my personality, or anybody’s, it has lots of different aspects,” explains Polly. “Everyone has their happiness, their sadness. The one thing that runs through me constantly is music. I draw influences from diverse places – from Aphex Twin to David Bowie, Kraftwerk to Nine Inch Nails, Leonard Cohen to Pink Floyd to classical piano… I love soundscapes and noise and darkness…”

So is this “electronic” music? “Essentially everything is electronic music! I love, say, getting a bow and banging a piece of metal, putting a microphone through a letterbox and recording an empty room… But that’s not electronica, that’s random sounds, atmospheres… We recorded an owl one night: when you put it through a synthesizer, it does not sound like an owl…!”

Bursting from the cocoon of the studio, Polly Scattergood is also doing her “own thing” live. “Things have changed a bit,” she affirms. “With the old songs, I had to adopt characters. The big costumes gave me courage to get onstage. I remember gluing bits of diamantes onto feathers for weeks before a gig. Now I’m more confident in the sounds and in myself and where I am in my life. I’m very proud of what I’ve made.”

“Life is always changing; it never stays the same. There are always highs and lows. This album was my ‘arrow’, pointing me in the right direction after I was lost for a while. This feels like where I want to be as an artist.”

 

Info (German):
Prolog
“’I like to play piano, but it’s often out of tune’, sang Polly Scattergood 2009, damals 22, in ihrem Song ‘Please don’t touch’: Sixties-Beatles, Handclaps, süße Mädchenstimme, ein lakonisch beschwingter Text. Schon damals stach Scattergood mit betörenden Balladen und eloquenten Lyrics aus der schier unüberschaubaren Zahl neuer Sängerinnen und Songwriterinnen hervor, die sich heute, befeuert durch den Erfolg von La Roux, Little Boots oder Florence & The Machine, zur neuen Pop-Hegemonie aufgeschwungen haben. Leider erschien das Debütalbum der Britin nie in Deutschland und blieb auch in ihrer Heimat ein geschätzter Geheimtipp unter Kritikern.

So entbehrt es nicht einer gewissen Ironie, dass Scattergoods neue Single “Wanderlust” nun unter anderem von Charli XCX remixt wurde, der zurzeit am höchsten gehandelten Elektro-Popperin, die dem schwedischen DJ-Duo Icona Pop ihren Über-Hit “I Love It” schrieb. Mit dem XCX-Bonus wird nun für Scattergood geworben, obwohl es eigentlich umgekehrt sein müsste. (…) “Wanderlust”, nach “Disco Damaged Kid” die zweite Vorab-Veröffentlichung aus dem Album “Arrows”, das im Sommer erscheinen soll, ist jedenfalls ein spektakulärer Angriff auf den Dancefloor, getragen von mächtig wogenden Synthie-Flächen und donnernden Achtziger-Jahre-Pathos-Drums.

Scattergood fügt sich damit in den gängigen Trend ein, den Bombast-Pop der Achtziger in aktuelle Elektro-Zusammenhänge zu übersetzen, wie es zuletzt etablierte Kolleginnen wie Tegan and Sara, aber auch Newcomer wie Kate Boy oder Chloë Howl mit Erfolg praktizierten. In diesem Referenzrahmen klingt ihr mit glockenheller Euphorie gesungener Refrain “Wanderlust, following my feet as I keep dancing down this endless street” natürlich noch mehr nach Vorbildern wie Kate Bush als auf ihrem Debüt. Gleichzeitig erinnert der stetig und gelassen nach vorne treibende Track an die Pop-Perlen von Robyn.

Ihrem Faible für Sixties-Pop blieb Scattergood dennoch treu. Am Anfang von “Wanderlust” wabert eine leise “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds”-Orgel im Hintergrund, quasi als Verbindungsglied zwischen den eher traditionell instrumentierten Songs ihres Debüts und den neuen, elektronischeren Tracks. Im Videoclip lässt sie ein Mädchen behende durch eine “Mad Men”-Bürolandschaft tanzen, Männer in Fifties-Anzügen mit Weste versuchen sie vergeblich zu greifen. Ständig verändert sich das Szenario. (…) Polly Scattergood hat gerade die halbe Strecke hinter sich: Oben schon aufgeräumter Kopf, unten noch flippige Tanzschuhe. Und das Piano spielt jetzt ganz sicher den richtigen Tune.
(Andreas Borcholte, Spiegel Online, 03.04.2013)

Und ein paar Fakten. Mehr in Kürze.

Ganze zwei Jahre dauerte es, bis das von Ken Thomas (Sigur Ros, Dave Gahan, M83) und Jolyon Thomas produzierte Album endlich vollendet war. Mit Scattergood am Steuer wurde solange an jeder Note und jedem kratzenden Sound gefeilt, bis in der Klangwelt ihres zweiten Albums alles an seinem Platz saß. Konzentriert darauf, ein pulsierendes Werk zu schaffen, das Inspiration und Euphorie mit Wut und kathartischer Erlösung vereint: „It´s easy to write a sad song, but harder to create something that makes people dance“, sagt sie. Es ist vollbracht. Elegie mischt sich mit Euphorie: „Some of it is about love and loss. The key is moving on, pulling yourself together again.“

 

Full Track Streaming:

 

Videos:
“Wanderlust”

“Cocoon”

“Subsequently Lost”

“Miss You”

 

Special:
“Cocoon (Fort Romeau Remix)”

“Subsequently Lost (Lissvik Remix)”

 

Commercial Streaming Services:
Spotify
Rdio
Simfy

 

Buy CD:
MuteBank
Amazon GER
Amazon UK
Amazon US
Amazon FR
Amazon ES
Amazon IT
Rough Trade
WOM
Juno
more soon

 

Buy Vinyl:
MuteBank
Amazon GER
Amazon UK
Amazon US
Rough Trade
HHV
WOM
Juno
more soon

 

Buy Digital:
iTunes
Amazon
7Digital
Google Play
Boomkat
Musicload
more soon

 

Websites:
Polly Scattergood
Mute
Mute @ Facebook
Mute Germany @ Facebook

 

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