“The hieroglyphics of our soul/ We keep on moving/ Time evolves…”
An escape into the cosmos, out of this world of the grey and the shallow into deep space, light and legend. ‘Absence of Light’ is the new EP from Polly Scattergood, a writing and production collaboration with Jim Sclavunos (Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Grinderman) and producer Glenn Kerrigan.
Releasing online on 17th August is the exuberantly upbeat 2nd single taken from the EP, ‘Saturn 9’. A pun on the word “saturnine” — meaning “gloomy, moody or mysterious” -- the literal meaning is “born under the influence of the planet Saturn.” ‘Saturn 9’ is about emerging from the gloom of lockdown into a radiant Summer of hope. Polly Scattergood has put together a video that sees a retro-colourful, smiley-faced and Lycra-clad gang of friends dancing through the streets, beat box in hand: a video that is all about movement, energy, and sharing positive feelings with each other.
Written during last year’s lockdowns in ‘virtual’ writing sessions with Jim Sclavunos (Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds / Sonic Youth / Grinderman) and long-time collaborator Glenn Kerrigan, the EP evokes sounds from outer edges of the universe, celebrating the scientific wonder and mythological splendour of worlds and realms beyond our own. The EP characterised by a delight in science’s answers to the infinite questions of space, and the ancient Roman and Greek attempts to know the unknowable and explain the inexplicable.
“Whilst locked down we looked up. Dreaming of faraway landscapes and spaces in the distance.” explains Polly of a project that began with stargazing escapism and evolved into a study in the science and mythology of outer space. “We researched planets and solar systems, and found inspiration in a dreamlike journey. A shimmering darkness twisting around mythology and science but shrouded in a vast unknown. These journeys were then reflected upon from our more grounded space, mid-pandemic, trapped between four walls. All writing sessions via video link. Time delays and interference all added to the energy within this project.”
“I have known Jim for many years, and we had previously worked together in my studio in Camden.” Polly recalls, “When lockdown came in we decided to do some virtual writing sessions, the new-found time that we both had on our hands. We would get together on a video call at midday and just keep the session running until we had a song. Glenn Kerrigan, my long-time collaborator, was on hand to help us conjure up a sound from the outer edge of the universe.”