From humble musical beginnings in a garden shed, Polly Paulusma was signed to Bjork’s label One Little Indian in 2003 and in 2004 released her self-produced, home-shed-recorded debut album Scissors In My Pocket to international critical acclaim.
Uncut Magazine gave Scissors In My Pocket **** calling her “the finest young female British singer-songwriter to emerge over the last 12 months” (in a year that saw Amy Winehouse and Joss Stone step into the limelight). The Independent heralded her “the most literate songwriter of her generation”. Scissors… was playlisted on BBC Radio 2 and championed by Michael Parkinson and Terry Wogan, to name but a few.
Over the pond, Nic Harcourt from LA’s prestigious KCRW radio show The Morning Becomes Eclectic called Scissors… “the best album from the UK this year”. Veteran Canadian DJ Howard Mandshein dubbed her “the best British female singer-songwriter in a decade”.
Paulusma toured the UK, the US and Europe continuously through 2004-5 supporting Bob Dylan, Coldplay, Jamie Cullum, Marianne Faithfull, The Divine Comedy and Joseph Arthur, playing Glastonbury, Glasgow’s T in the Park and the Cambridge Folk Festival, amongst many others. Released in 2007, her second album Fingers & Thumbs was a heartfelt cry for help after a series of miscarriages. It was a difficult and very personal album, driven predominantly by an electric sound. Recorded live in Liverpool over five weeks with acclaimed producer Ken Nelson (Coldplay, Kings of Convenience, Gomez, Badly Drawn Boy) it captured a much darker side to Paulusma’s personality.
In 2012 (and two children later), Paulusma now releases her third album, Leaves from the Family Tree. She is founder of label Wild Sound and the proud owner of a caravan called Ella (to make touring with her young family a possibility – but only in the school holidays!). On this joyful third album, she has e-collaborated with folk heroes Adem and Erin McKeown, rock violin diva Anna Phoebe and acclaimed film composer Michael Price of recent Sherlock fame, combining recordings from her garden shed, Pinewood Studios, and everywhere in between to create an insightful representation of the joys and complications of modern family life.
When Tom Robinson recently played a live version of Last Week Me on BBC 6Music, he said: “Just goes to show, all you need is talent… just one woman, a guitar and a voice.”