Polly Scattergood Polly Scattergood Review

Released 2009.  

BBC Review

The chanteuse from rural Essex overcomes any dire Kookiness on her eponymous debut album.

Lou Thomas 2009

Polly Scattergood claims to have written 800 songs at the BRIT school, which aside from genuine talents like Amy Winehouse and Adele Adkins spawned The Feeling, Another Level and The Kooks' frontman Luke Pritchard.

The chanteuse from rural Essex overcomes any dire Kookiness on her eponymous debut album to create an intimate and rich set of songs.

I Hate The Way melds vivid lyrics (''We had pennies in our pockets, we had hope in our eyes'') with horror movie synths and trip-hop beats in engaging fashion and this is swiftly followed by single Other Too Endless.

This is one of Polly's best and most energetic songs, a terrific jab of huge drums and Suede circa Coming Up guitar distortion tied to a vocal where the East Anglian lady sounds like a superior Katie White from The Ting Tings.

There are times when her voice veers into bizarre, atonal freeform territory, but even obvious progenitors like Kate Bush, Bjork and Natasha Khan (aka Bat For Lashes) have their sketchy moments, so a newcomer must be forgiven.

Album highlight is Bunny Club, a seductive hit-in-waiting that manages to recall Snow Patrol's Run but in a way that doesn't make listeners run from the room. Expect a savvy multinational to snap up the rights for a TV advert quicker than you can say ''corporate sell-out''.

Polly's emotional storytelling and quietly impressive songs may well gain her a large audience and on the evidence of this auspicious record she'll deserve it.

But this aside it's hard not love a 22-year-old woman who once got sacked from an ice-cream factory for scoffing too much lemon sorbet.

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