On Dead Waves is a project between Maps and Polly Scattergood. Maps is the stage name used by Northampton musician James Chapman. Polly Scattergood is the stage name used by Polly Scattergood. They’re both on the cult side, by which we mean the critics rate them but record buyers have never really taken to them. Being harsh, they’ve both been a little forgettable in the past.
From memory, Maps’ last album wasn’t too bad but then young James split himself up and Maps are no more. We’ve got a soft spot for Scattergood — we saw her at a festival, and her parents were there, which was sweet (though that could have been Jeremy Warmsley, another cultish performer) — but we rarely play her albums. They’re never as good in the hearing as our brains seem to think they are.
This album has been out a few weeks and we keep playing it and failing to think of much to say; in itself its own review. It’s all okay, but no more. That’s not to say either lack talent or we would hear a word against them: they’re musicians treading their own furrows that’s all. We’d just caution you before spending money.
The album opens with Blackbird, the first single, and it’s one of the better tracks, a bluesy folk indie tune that’s quite nice. But it never really goes anywhere from that sort-of standout. Hollow is ok.
Some reviews compare them to Widowspeak, a band whose album we bought and found duller than a grey overcoat on a wet day in Blackpool. A better comparison would be Choir of Young Believers (The Bridge theme). They’re much better.
There must be people who like this kind of maudlin, personal and gloomy folk (floomy?) indie but we are not in their number.