Polly Paulusma first emerged in the noughties when it looked like she was going to eclipse the like of contemporaries Joss Stone and Amy Whitehouse, with two highly respected albums, “Scissors In My Pocket” and it’s successor, “Fingers And Thumbs” to her credit. In addition, there were tours with the likes of Dylan and Coldplay.
Whilst Stone and Winehouse, really came to attention via their voices, in the case of the later, aided and abetted by a train crash lifestyle, Paulusma’s biggest strength, was her words, her songs, not that there’s anything slack about her voice.
“Fingers And Thumbs” was released back in 2007 so I was really pleased to discover that Polly Paulusma, is back with album number three, “Leaves From The Family Tree”, though she has jokingly described the intervening kids as albums three and four and this as album number five.
She’s built a trio around herself by adding John Parker on bass and drummer Rastko Rasic. There’s also one or two guest appearances on the album from the likes of Erin McKeown and Anna Phoebe, but once again then thing that strikes you first about the album is the strength of the writing.
This is a more mature album, not quite as dark as its immediate predecessor, but more rooted in life and that means taking the good with the bad. There is real poetry in Paulusma’s writing, many of her songs would standalone simply spoken in a coffee shop performance, but in many ways to do that, would be to deny them their legs.
Polly Paulusma has taught and tutored English in the intervening years. If her teaching is as scintillating as her music, then expect some great writers to come from the Cambridge area in the next few years. In the meantime, revel in the album that is, “Leaves From The Family Tree”.