Scattered up in Polly

There is something very Polly Scattergood about Polly Scattergood. In addition to the Dickensian side-character of a name (and yes, it's her real one -- apparently Scattergood is a very common name in Northeast England), the 22-year-old singer-songwriter lives in a creaky attic studio overlooking the city of London; she spent her late teens selling tomatoes at an outdoor food stall; and she grew up with a boat-builder father and artist mother in a house that "was a bit wonky and falling to pieces." While she emphasizes the messiness of her upbringing, which she says, "has seeped into my songs in some way or another," her debut self-titled album, a collection of emotionally-charged, five-minute-plus songs that she delivers with a frantic and wispy coo, are polished and mesmerizing.

At the moment, Scattergood's touring the U.K., with the hopes of heading Stateside -- which would be her first visit -- in the near future to support the album's May U.S. release. All of this hype (she's already been deemed "the Kate Bush of the 21st century") means that she has had to confront head-on her intense fear of performing live. "I actually went to see a hypnotherapist," she says. "I'm a real perfectionist, and I have a fear of letting people down -- not being as good as people want me to be." Apparently, it worked. But her phobia of spiders? "No, the hypnotherapist could not fix that."

Styling by Sarah Lowe, Fifth Avenue PR * Hair and Makeup by Alex Jones * Polly wears a dress by Thurley.

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