As well as possessing a name that rings with childhood delight, Polly Scattergood is also graced with a voice that creates a genuine sense of youthful adventure and nostalgia. New single Wanderlust is a delight. Based around the idea of escapism, it’s three-and-a-half minutes of scratchy, energetic synths wrapped up in the magic of her alluring vocal – while the wonderful video (below) further entices you in to her world.
Her new album, Arrows, is released this coming June via Mute and we spoke to her about it. Read the interview below…
Hi Polly. What’s been the highlight of your day so far?
I woke up with a hangover after drinking too many espresso Martini’s last night, so I haven’t really had a highlight yet. It’s all still to play for.
How is 2013 treating you?
It’s been good so far… I have enjoyed getting out on the road and making the video for Wanderlust.
Wanderlust has just crept out in to the world. Sell it to us…
It’s a song about an adventure, about shutting your eyes and letting go, breaking free. It’s dark and dreamy, a bit like a nursery rhyme in the verses. The first line that you hear is a sample taken from a Russian fairytale, and the bass line running through it was played on a lovely old analogue moog.
We like the video a lot. Can you tell us a little bit about the idea behind it?
Thanks NYSU did a great job directing it. It’s got a bit of a trippy ‘Mad Men’ vibe to it. It’s basically a loop that just goes round and round, but each time it goes round something new is thrown into the scene. In essence, it’s about being stuck in a rut and trying to break free. You have to watch it a few times really, as every time you watch it you will notice something new.
Wanderlust means ‘a desire to travel’. Do you have that? Have you traveled a lot, or not enough?
I have travelled a bit, but would love to travel more. I want to drive through America one day and go to those towns that you see in the films with white picket fences. Basically, I want to step into a Gregory Crewdson photograph!
Arrows is out this summer. Is it all good to go? Are you ready to set it free?
It’s a strange thing letting go of something that has basically been my entire life for the last 4 years, but I feel ready now. I wanted to get it to a place where I felt totally proud of it, that way whatever happens I know I have tried my hardest, and that’s all I can do. I feel like it’s ready to be heard now, I am excited to share it with people. The reaction and the comments I received after Wanderlust came out was really great, it’s always a scary thing releasing it to the outside world.
Is Wanderlust representative of the rest of the record? What can we expect from it?
I think it’s representative of parts of the album, but Arrows is very much a body of work. It’s about a journey, and taking one single out of it doesn’t really represent the whole thing. The album has big highs, and big lows, some of it is very experimental with lots of lush layers and textures, and other parts very sparse and raw. I worked with Ken and Jolyon Thomas, (M83, Sigur Ros) and I think their sound is naturally quite big and epic, but it also has very fragile raw parts in it.
What were you hoping to capture on the record? Do you feel you achieved it?
I was hoping to capture an energy, and I feel like I have done this. Each song has its own little world, it’s all about moving forwards, and although it’s dark at times, I feel like it’s also very uplifting. Which is exactly what I wanted.
How does your song-writing process work?
Things just come into my head randomly, often when I’m not thinking about anything much. It’s like the song is already written, and I just need to get it down. I enjoy getting a beat and looping them and then just coming up with ideas. I co-wrote some of this album with Glenn Kerrigan and he stopped me from falling into my comfort zone and challenged me to take it to different places.
What have you been listening to recently?
MØ, Chvrches, Jon Hopkins, The XX, Ghostpoet. Four Tet. LCD Soundsystem.
What’s the plan for the rest of the year?
There will be another single out, followed by the album, then I guess I will be touring it after that.