18 January 2010

Bunny Club - Polly Scattergood

'I've got a dog and a gun, and I'm living in London now... living in London Town.'

'Bunny Club' is track eight from the eponymous album Polly Scattergood. It's an ethereal mixture centred around a relentless Roland CR-78 bass drum, which starts slowly and picks up quickly with spoken word intro (including every one of the words 'spit', 'french' and 'knickers') and soon adds occasional, vaguely muted and somewhat beautiful analogue synth melodic pickings. Behing all this activity, a slowly growing mixture of breathy pads and growling square wave bass tones mix with a second set of Pollys, all vocally layered and entirely un-autotuned. There's no attack or decay to the bass tones, which remain strident and somehow glorious; they buzz in and buzz out, while Polly half-speaks, half-sings over the top. It's almost angelic, if angels were analogue and used Garageband, and brings back memories of eighties heroes and nineties dance stars, taking me back to those heady moments when they play the last song before the DJ takes his ball home and you all head out into the night to couple with whomever you were dealt by the cards of fate, 2am edition.

I like you think you've heard of Polly Scattergood recently, particularly with regard to the track Other Too Endless, which appeared in the UK as the iTunes track of the week - this meant it was free to download but you were constrained to go back to the iTunes website and post a review saying it wasn't as good as the free tracks they had when you were a lad. Anyway, you might even have seen music press comparisons to Kate Bush, and might even have chuckled to yourself at the very idea that some young art-school whippersnapper could ever challenge the great Kate to a duel of demented dabblings. As a long-time supplicant for more and more Kate Bush, it's hard to surpass the lunatic weirdness of Breathing (for beardy men in boiler suit madness) or Sat In Your Lap (for men with roller skates and bull heads). Even the album covers have a certain inordinately weird panache that Polly Scattergood standing around looking windswept and vaguely hamster-like can't challenge. Mind you, Vince Clarke has remixed Other Too Endless, and while Kate has many charms, a Vince Clarke remix of Running Up That Hill isn't one of them. Sadly.

So, can Polly Scattergood ever live up to hype? One might click along to the iTunes music store and click one's way into eight English pounds worth of audio madness which I have to confess quickened my heart, at least, into a fevered delight that I've not felt since Goldfrapp's Black Cherry glistened its way into the tagged-with-mega-glam section of my iTunes library.

I mentioned earlier that Bunny Club is the eighth track of ten from Polly Scattergood's imaginatively titled album 'Polly Scattergood'. If you're still unsure of the album's virtue, I can also tell you that it's released on Mute Records, home of some of the finest musical noodlings you can imagine. You might also ask why I didn't write about Polly Scattergood in general, rather than focusing on one track, one single track of pure synth joy with a viciously bitchy message and a hint of madness. I can say only that it's my favourite track so far. It may well prove to be the best track on the album as well; I have my suspicions.

'Call me a fake, sir? You can call me a fraud. You can spit on my French knickers. You can call me a whore.'

No comments:

Post a Comment