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Polly Paulusma - Scissors in My Pocket


Review: Jack Foley

IT WOULD be simple merely to dismiss Polly Paulusma as another singer-songwriter in the Norah Jones/Kate Melua mould, albeit with a grittier voice, in the Alanis Morissette mode.

But that wouldn't really be doing her justice.

Sure, her album, Scissors in My Pocket, provokes an almost immediate comparison with Ms Jones and co, but there is no denying that this UK artist is a major emerging talent.

One need only glance at her CV to see the esteem with which she is already held within the industry.

Polly made only be in her mid-late 20s, but this Londoner hasn't looked back since being discovered singing backing vocals with Ben & Jason.

She recently toured with Jamie Cullum and Gary Jules, has been part of the improv group 'assembly', with Beth Orton, who's unrehearsed 'jam sessions' have filled both The Scala and Tate Britain, and she is due to support the legend that is Bob Dylan, in Ireland, on June 26/27.

Added to that are the comments from the likes of Mojo, which hailed her as an artiste in the 'John Martyn-Nick Drake school of folk-jazz intimacy', and Uncut magazine, which wrote that 'Joni Mitchell gave up songwriting after 1994's Turbulent Indigo... A decade on, we may have found a worthy successor'.

High praise indeed, but it doesn't take many listens of the album to realise that it is not misplaced.

Opening track, Dark Side, for instance, is an excellent showcase for the satisfying melodies and sultry vocals you can expect to hear throughout.

The tracks are a little more upbeat and jolly than Norah Jones, and packed with some unusual chords, designed to keep listeners on their toes.

The sweet I Was Made To Love You evokes memories of the likes of Tori Amos and Joni Mitchell, rolled into one, with beautiful lyrics, such as 'in the sky I see angels flying all over town, they've got names in their pockets of lovers lost and found', which seem tailor-made for Polly's tender vocal style.

Yet there is also a tougher, more sassy side to her, as displayed during tracks such as Carry Me Home, which boasts lyrics such as 'If I win, are you man enough to claim me?'

It would be a shame if Polly Paulusma became overlooked, having arrived so soon after the new releases from Jones and Melua, for this rates just as highly - if not more so.

This is, at the end of the day, a folsky day-dream of a record, that announces the arrival of yet another major female songwriting talent.

 

Track listing:
1. Dark Side
2. I Was Made To Love You
3. One Day
4. She Moves In Secret Ways
5. Over The Hill
6. Carry Me Home
7. Mea Culpa
8. Give It Back
9. Anywhere From Here
10. Perfect 4/4
11. Something To Remember Me By

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