The New Regime: Polly Scattergood

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If listening to “Nitrogen Pink,” the tinkly, bubble-burst debut single from Polly Scattergood, sounds like stumbling upon some kind of harmonious magical accident, it’s partly because you have. “I don’t really know how I write songs,” says the 21-year-old Londoner. “They just sort of pop out. If I stopped to think about it too much, nothing would ever come out right.” Hailed by the British press as the apparent musical lovechild of Björk and Kate Bush, Scattergood weaves tales that are both strangely beautiful and breathlessly intimate.

“I enjoy creating things, no matter what it is,” she says. “I make films and write poems and make songs all the time. Since I was 12 years old, I’ve been busy making something odd.” In addition to putting the finishing touches on a debut album, due out next spring, Scattergood is busy imagining the possibilities of her own multimedia live show (“I’m envisioning identically dressed gymnasts on balance beams, leaping down through a hole in the stage,” she says) and celebrating the recent demise of her day job. “Until a few months ago, I sold tomatoes at an outdoor market stall,” she says. “It’s tough on your voice, working outside. You know, it’s very cold in London.”

Photo: Ben Morris