Polly MacLean - vocals
Andy Chapman - guitar
Al Firrell - bass, cello
Eilish McCracken - violin
Polly MacLean was conceived in Poland, born in Edinburgh and brought up on a small island in the Inner Hebrides. Surrounded by music, inspired by the wild landscapes around her and encouraged by a creative mother, she wrote songs from an early age. Serious illness forced a move to London for specialist treatment when Polly was fifteen (while in hospital, she renewed a correspondence with Spike Milligan who had written to her years before when she sent him some childhood poems). She has remained in the city ever since. “My songs grow in the gaps between places: Scotland and England, the island and the mainland, the country and the city, the past and the present, reality and fantasy...”
Illness and bereavement have given a dark and sharp edge to her imagination, as well as reinforcing the mordant Highland humour which sustains her and flavours her work. She has never learnt an instrument, writing songs in her head as unaccompanied tunes which she then sings to the rest of the band, who heroically figure out the key, the time signature, and so on.
“ witty dark-folk ballads which sound something like The Handsome Family sharing a bottle of whisky with Jacques Brel” (Dogfishtrombone – London promoter)
The debut single from Slate Islands is ‘You Are The One’, a love song with a twist. Joe Murphy (Sgt Buzfuz) and Ian Button (Death In Vegas) guest on accordion and drums. It’s a taster for the first Slate Islands album ‘The Corner Of Your Eye’ - coming out later this year - which will feature a duet with maverick inventor/musician Thomas Truax.