Wide-eyed and wacky, like Kate Bush crossed with a bush baby, Polly Scattergood appears on the scene and demands attention. Her name is no pseudonym, and it's strikingly appropriate. Despite her pretty blonde porcelain-doll appearance, the girl is merrily prancing a tightrope between being lovably scatterbrained and completely looney tunes.
The Essex native possesses a lovely voice and a gift for melody, as well as a penchant for staring into the camera as if she just might bite whoever looks too long. A fresh graduate of the Brit school, 22-year old Scattergood sings emotional, quirky story-songs that are very much a product of the ultra-confessional LiveJournal/MySpace generation. Her naked honesty can make listeners uncomfortable, but it's a refreshing departure from the polished pop stars and apathetic hipsters MySpace has been throwing up recently.
"Please Don't Touch" is the first single off her self-titled debut. The song begins, "can't play pretty tunes / my head is always messy / and I can't walk in a straight line / my path is always gritty / and I like to play piano / but it's often out of tune / and there's lots of broken fingers in the dark parts of my room." True to form, it's both endearing and clearly unhinged. Scattergood cavorts in front of the camera, clapping like Jules de Marino's (of the Ting Tings) lunatic little sister. Of course, despite her persona, Scattergood has a good handle on pop sensibilities. Although most of her lyrics read like angsty teen poetry, her songs are rather catchy.
Provided she doesn't do an Amy Winehouse-style nosedive, this darling Ophelia just might come out with some interesting material in the near future. Either way, it should pay to keep an eye on her. (Just don't come too close.) - Nina Mashurova
Polly Scattergood on Tour May 30 - Play it By Ear Club @ The Monarch - London
Jun 4 - XFM Xposure @ The Barfly - London
Jul 26 - 1234 Festival - London
Sep 13 - Bestival - Isle of Wight