Polly Scattergood has captured many a music fan’s heart with her soaring vocals and synth–heavy hit Wanderlust this summer. Appropriately then, Polly will be a very special guest of label-mates Goldfrapp at their sold-out Somerset House Summer Series event on 20th July; tomorrow!
Following on from the release of ‘Wanderlust’, Polly’s forthcoming album, Arrows, will come out on 23 September. We decided to have a proper natter with the Essex chanteuse to put the world to rights and discuss singing, stage fright and sparkly boots.
Your music has been described as “ethereal” and “quirky” – how would you describe it to someone who’s never listened to it?
Epic journeys, noisy in places, and delicate soundscapes in others. Big highs and big lows, but always moving forwards.
You have such a brilliant surname – did you ever get any interesting nicknames in school?
Yes, lots! I also have two brothers, so unfortunately I did have my fair share of nicknames – none I can share with you though!
How did growing up in Essex inspire your music?
I moved to London at 16 so that inspired a lot of my first album. Growing up in Essex was good, I have some incredible friends back there who I am still very close to. The place I grew up in is very bohemian and arty and I think that probably rubbed off into some of the songs from time to time.
How did attending the Brit school inspire your ambitions to get involved with music?
It didn’t inspire my ambition. I already knew I wanted to be involved in music before I went there. I guess it just gave me more direction, it helped me to hone in on what parts of music I love, which for me was the writing and composing. It also felt like a safe place to experiment, which was very good for me.
What current musicians do you look up to?
There are so many. I love The xx, Jon Hopkins, Sigur Ross, Yann Tierson, Nick Cave.
What do you love about performing?
I have a real love-hate relationship with performing. I agonize about it in the lead up to a gig, but then as soon as I’m on stage it’s like something kicks in and I just become totally addicted. It’s like the songs take on new personalities when you play them in front of a live audience, and sometimes a song which I have heard a thousand times in the studio suddenly changes and becomes a completely different beast when played on stage. Although that terrifies me I also love that sense of unknown.
How would you describe your fashion sense and style?
Geek chic. I love a big collar and a pretty dress. I find fashion very exciting and inspiring.
What do you love wearing to perform?
Usually little dresses – I also often wear a pair of Topshop sparkly ankle boots on stage, as they look super cool under lights and aren’t too high so I can still jump around without falling over! The other thing I like to wear is a hand-made silver antler from Bloody Mary Metal, it’s my lucky charm, it’s one of my favourite pieces of jewellery, I hardly ever take it off.
What’s next for Polly Scattergood?
Wanderlust was out a few months ago and I have a series of London dates coming up on the back of that, including a Goldfrapp support slot which I am really looking forward to. I also have a new single coming out, so we are shooting the video for that soon… and then the album!
Get all the Polly Scattergood updates your heart could desire on Twitter @pollyworld