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FROM THIS EPISODE

nullI became a fan of UK artist Polly Scattergood the first time I heard her 2007 single, “Nitrogen Pink.”  That sweepingly dynamic song sounded like an inspired cross between Kate Bush and M83, with its driving electronic pulse of a beat and intensely personal, storytelling lyrics.  Amongst my music-loving friends, I discovered there were those who found that song to be over the top, aiming for the kinds of feats managed by fellow musical tightrope walkers Tori Amos, Fiona Apple and Bjork, but missing the mark.  After running into similar naysayers after further singles and her 2009 self-titled, full-length debut, I just chalked it up to her being an acquired taste.  But four years later, with the release of her second album, Arrows, I’m convinced she is a taste worth acquiring.

It is still the case that Scattergood likes exploring all the facets of dramatic, confessional songwriting and that listening to a bunch of these kinds of songs in a row can be a bit overwhelming.  But teaming up with Glenn Kerrigan as her songwriting partner (who previously worked with Emmy the Great) has tempered some of her excesses and left a more streamlined and balanced album.  The production is more open as well, with a recognition that listeners like to groove along as well as emote alongside Scattergood’s layered tunes (as one of the album’s centerpiece songs, “Disco-Damaged Kid,” implies).  Again, her songs are so rich in content, both lyrically and in texture, that, like a delicious blueberry cheesecake, they are best in small doses.  But after a few bites, you might get seduced into consuming the whole thing.  And unlike with heavy desserts, there are no regrets later!

- Eric J. Lawrence

Track List:

1. Cocoon
2. Falling
3. Machines
4. Disco Damaged Kid
5. Colours Colliding
6. Miss You
7. Subsequently Lost
8. Silver Lining
9. Wonderlust
10. I've Got A Heart


Banner Photo by Frank Bauer/Courtesy the artist

Arrows

Polly Scattergood

[PLAYLIST GOES HERE]

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