After a break of seven years, Polly Scattergood has returned with a new album In This Moment. Originally from the UK, she has been described as intense and quirky, which is precisely what the new album is. Through the musical mist of emotional lyrics and dark melodies, In This Moment is about the journey, not the destination and forces the listener to really engage in a singular moment and not the album as a whole.
As opening tracks go, “Red” drags you straight in. The piano melody may be repetitious, but it’s also hypnotic. Enter the syncopated drums and some bright synth notes, and Scattergood has created a hypnotic track. Unlike other tracks on the album, “Red” shows the extent of Scattergood’s voice. From husky tones to measured notes, this lengthy track is the perfect musical arena to show her vocal range.
In contrast, “Bloom” starts softly, Scattergood’s voice gently lifts itself over the minimal accompaniment. “Bloom” is a spoken-word track that is relaxing and calming. Chimes, bells and repetitious clicks mix with long drawn out violin melodies creating a trace-like musical state. While the rest of the album makes use of Scattergood’s unusual singing style, this track focuses on her artistry and her ability to create emotive and thought-provoking music.
A dark introduction sets the scene for “Clouds” with an electrical current sound and piano melody. While the melody of this track is simple, it’s Scattergood’s lyrics that transport you above the clouds. Mentions of the sun, the wind, and clouds combined with the dull synth sound make it feel like you are hovering somewhere above the clouds. Ultimately, the track swells slowly and concludes with layered harmonies and a fade-out that leaves you suspended in a musical calm.
In This Moment is dark and surreal at times, and this is down to Scattergood’s compositional style and understanding. She uses music to create lightness and darkness in every track making the album seem like a journey into the unknown, a journey I would happily take again.