Astonishingly mature debut from Britain's brainiest new singer-songwriter

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Polly Paulusma – Scissors In My Pocket

Frighteningly clever with her first in English from Cambridge, Polly Paulusma might have become an academic or a novelist. Fortunately, she turned instead to music. Scissors In My Pocket is an album for connoisseurs of grown-up songwriting, littered with arresting references, both literary and musical.

“Something To Remember Me By” is inspired by Shelley’s “Ozymandias”. The lovely string arrangement on “One Day” subtly acknowledges “Eleanor Rigby”. Yet Paulusma’s songs are also strikingly original, and full to the brim with potent melodies, unusual chords, meltingly heartfelt vocals and sharp emotional resonance.

Joni Mitchell gave up songwriting after 1994’s Turbulent Indigo. A decade on, we may finally have found a worthy successor.