Polly Scattergood

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Polly Scattergood
Polly Scattergood performing at the Shoreditch Festival in Hackney, London; July 2009
Background information
Birth name Polly Scattergood
Born (1986-10-18) 18 October 1986 (age 30)
Wivenhoe, Essex, England
Genres Indie pop, experimental, alternative rock
Occupation(s) Singer, musician, songwriter
Instruments Keyboard, piano and guitar
Years active 2005–present
Labels Mute Records

Polly Scattergood (born 18 October 1986, Wivenhoe, Essex, England),[1][2][3] is a British singer-songwriter. She has been described as ethereal, dark, intense and quirky,[4][5][6] while her musical style has been described as "early 21st century electro-dance-pop of London proper".[7] Scattergood's debut album, self-titled, was released in spring 2009 in the United Kingdom and United States. It received mixed but generally positive reviews. Arrows was Scattergood's second studio album, it was produced by Ken Thomas and Jolyon Thomas and released in Autumn 2013. Arrows received positive reviews in the media with The Independent, Rolling Stone and Mojo each awarding it four stars.[8]

Early years[edit]

Scattergood grew up near Colchester, the eldest of three siblings with two younger brothers.

Her mother was an artist and her father an actor. Scattergood's first memory of making music was playing a toy piano when she was aged four.[9] Aged 12, having listened to Suzanne Vega's song "Luka", Scattergood concluded, "Music doesn't have to be strident to carry a strong message" and "That you don't have to shout. You can say things and people will listen if they want to."[4] She has stated she would often listen to Leonard Cohen as a teenager.[10]

Aged 16 she moved to London. She took part-time work on a market stall to pay her way through music school.[4]

Musical career[edit]

Despite misunderstanding in the press, her name Scattergood is her family name. It means "here today, gone tomorrow".[4]

Scattergood moved to London at 16 to attend the Brit School where she wrote 800 songs.[4] After graduation she caught the attention of music industry executive Neil Ferris who took on her management. Ferris then introduced Scattergood to Daniel Miller head of Mute Records. He led her to her current producer Simon Fisher Turner.[4]

Scattergood describes herself as a storyteller. "I write about emotions and moments, not all are biographical."[4] Scattergood's debut single entitled "Glory Hallelujah" was released in 2005 on Ark Records and Produced by Greg Walsh whose credits include Pink Floyd and Kate Bush and Tina Turner. Her September 2007 single "Nitrogen Pink" was released on the legendary Mute Records is about the fragility of life and how quickly things come and go. .[4][5] The single "I Hate the Way" which was written on a toy keyboard was released on 22 September 2008 on both limited edition 10 inch vinyl and iTunes.[11] The song has been described as documenting her emotional instability and penchant for going to bed with unsuitable men.[12]

On 10 November 2008, Scattergood was a guest on the Rob Da Bank show where three of her songs were played ("I Hate The Way", "Untitled 27" and "Nitrogen Pink").[13] Da Bank called her "The Kate Bush of the 21st century". On 28 November, she played an acoustic set on the Janice Long show ("I Hate The Way", "Please Don't Touch" and "I've Got A Heart"). When asked about her discovery of music, she replied, "I found a guitar when I was about 12, in the coat cupboard, it had maybe 3 strings on it ... I just taught myself".

On 7 March 2009 Scattergood gave a live studio session on the BBC Radio 2 Dermot O'Leary show. Her cover version of "Puff, the Magic Dragon" proved to be popular with listeners, introducing many for the first time to the artist.

In 2011 Scattergood recorded a cover of New York New York for EA Games "The Wall" trailer. It premiered in Time Square, "The Wall" trailer won the Mi6 Gold award for "Best Use of Sound" and the Mi6 Silver award for "Best Game Footage Trailer.

In 2012 she remixed the M83 song Reunion.

In 2013 she remixed 'You Will Find A Way' by Maps.[14]

Debut album[edit]

Polly Scattergood was released 9 March 2009 in the United Kingdom.[15][16] and on 19 May in the United States.

"Other Too Endless" was released as a single from the album on 23 February 2009. It was named "record of the week" on the Steve Lamacq show. The download version features a remix by Vince Clarke who is a member of Erasure, ex Yazoo and ex Depeche Mode.[15] iTunes made it 'Single of the Week' on 30 March 2009. "Please Don't Touch" was her fourth single, released on 4 May 2009.[17] She then re-released "Nitrogen Pink" and released "Bunny Club" as singles.[18]

Second studio album[edit]

Scattergood released her critically acclaimed second album, Arrows, on 22 October 2013. The album was produced by Ken Thomas who has previously worked with Sigur Ros and M83. Arrows consists of 10 songs, including singles,"Disco Damaged Kid" "Wanderlust" and "Cocoon", as well as a reworked version of the previously available song, "Silver Lining". "Disco Damaged Kid" won the public vote on 6 music's roundtable. Wanderlust was remixed by Charli XCX and How To Dress Well and featured in America's Billboard Magazine. The album was warmly received and awarded four stars by Mojo, The Independent and Rolling Stone Magazine.


February 2009 saw Scattergood playing several clubs and hosting her own club night.[15] According to her MySpace page Scattergood is on a United Kingdom club tour which will conclude on 19 April. She is scheduled to play a Dublin, Ireland club date on 21 April followed by festival appearances at Live at Leeds, The Great Escape, and Bestival. She accompanied Bat for Lashes at the iTunes Live Festival on 19 July 2009.[19] An EP of the iTunes performance was released in August 2009 on iTunes. She supported Amanda Palmer in September 2009 at Union Chapel, Islington.

Scattergood supported Mute labelmates Goldfrapp at the Summer series 2013 concerts at Somerset House, London on 20 July 2013. She also played two sold out nights at London's Madam Jojo's.

Scattergood played a DJ set at London Fashion Week in 2013 the set was later used as part of a mix tape for the photographer Rankin's website.

Other pursuits[edit]

Scattergood has said she would like to make music for film and television. She currently makes short art films with Tom Henry Jones.

Scattergood stated on her Twitter account that she is working on a book of lyrics & poetry.

Scattergood recorded a new rendition of the song New York, New York for the first teaser trailer of the 2011 video game Crysis 2. It has had over three million plays to date and won a Mi6 Gold award for "Best Use of Sound".[20]


Studio albums[edit]

Year Album Peak chart positions
2009 Polly Scattergood
  • Released 9 March 2009
2013 Arrows
  • Released 21 October 2013


Year Single Album
2005 "Glory Hallelujah" Glory Hallelujah - EP
2007 "Nitrogen Pink" Polly Scattergood
2008 "I Hate The Way"
2009 "Other Too Endless"
"Please Don't Touch"
"Nitrogen Pink"
"Bunny Club"
2013 "Wanderlust" Arrows
2014 "Subsequently Lost"


  1. ^ "Polly Scattergood". Discogs.com. Retrieved 1 April 2012. 
  2. ^ "Polly Scattergood". Facebook.com. Retrieved 24 September 2013. 
  3. ^ "Polly Scattergood". Twitter.com. Retrieved 24 September 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h And now for song number 801 - The Guardian, 16 September 2008
  5. ^ a b Polly Scattergood Bar Academy, London - The Guardian, 2 September 2008
  6. ^ McCormick, Neil (2009-01-09). "Not the sound of 2009: the next small things". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2012-05-04. 
  7. ^ Billboard Album Review
  8. ^ "Polly Scattergood Reviews". Meta Critic. Retrieved 5 March 2010. 
  9. ^ Morley, Cat (2009-07-30). "Polly Scattergood | Issue 16 - The Vintage & Retro Issue". Cutoutandkeep.net. Retrieved 2012-04-01. 
  10. ^ "Introducing Polly Scattergood". Wears the Trouseers. 8 August 2007. Retrieved 5 March 2010. 
  11. ^ Listen Up: Polly Scattergood - Londonist, 23 September 2008
  12. ^ Polly Scattergood - I Hate The Way (Mute) - musicOMH
  13. ^ BBC Radio 1 Rob De Bank Show, 10 November 2008
  14. ^ http://hangout.altsounds.com/news/162425-maps-announces-find-a-remix-competition.html
  15. ^ a b c Polly Scattergood Live Dates - Glasswerk.co.uk, 21 January 2009
  16. ^ Album: Polly Scattergood, Polly Scattergood, (Mute) - The Independent, 8 March 2009
  17. ^ inthenews.co.uk 14 April 2009
  18. ^ "Free Music, Listen to Music Free on WE7 Radio - Love Your Music - Sorry, we are not available in your Country!". WE7. Retrieved 2013-04-05. 
  19. ^ Bat for Lashes/Polly Scattergood, Roundhouse, 19 July inthenews.co.uk 22 July 2009
  20. ^ Maverick press release (published via Gamasutra)

External links[edit]