There are different types of music for each public atmosphere. When you walk into a coffee shop, you hear a nice and calming folk tune from the likes of Bob Dylan, Ed Shareen, or Joanna Newsome. When you go into a bar, you hear party music like Future, JPEGMAFIA, BROCKHAMPTON or Tyler the Creator. Sometimes you go into department stores or markets and you hear that canned music that you kind of like but never listen to without actually walking into a department store.
As I have said, quite a few times shoegaze and dream pop are among my favorite genres and there are many, many artists that I would love to talk about eventually. But right meow I want to talk about one of my current favorites, discovered just sorta walking the soundscape of the internet.
Polly MacKey is most commonly known in the music world as Art School Girlfriend a name which she took from one her girlfriends who was going to use it as a DJ name. The young musician was raised in Wrexham, North Wales; she then spent five years in London before making her way to the creative city of Margate. Mackey has known by many other monikers and performed in other bands including the shoegaze band Deaf Club. Under her current moniker she produces a Gordon Ramsey recipe of music, half goth and half 80s dance mixed with a good helping of modern dream pop to create a tasty dish for ears. Currently she runs a bookstore with her girlfriend and doggie named Captain.
As of right now, she is signed with Wolftone Records and has dropped several EP’s and single songs, the most recent of which came out in June of this year called, Diving. A song filled with aching reverb, that sums up the whole of Art School Girlfriend. On her Bandcamp she explains Diving as ” …desire and anxiety in equal measure.”
Experimental yet striking ASG’s work is def creative. Equal parts shadowy and sonically gorgeous with atmospheres that are usually ebbing and flowing in between the fissures of dreampop and Goth pop. She has what I like in most musicians, not one song sounds exactly like the other. Take for example her January 2019 EP, Into the Blue Hour that drew me into her work.
BTW: My favorite song on that album is Moon.
Some of her work is similar to that of Fiona Apple. Some of her work to me even sounds like Annie Lennox could have written it. She has cited PJ Harvey as a huge influence to her too. Lyrically she explores themes such as lust, queer identity, infatuation and disillusionment.
So, where does ASG fit into the world’s atmospheres? She def would not work at a coffee shop and her music is not party enough to be played at bars. And without a doubt her music should not be canned in department stores. I personally think she the perfect soundtrack a night alone sipping at some wine thinking about the world.
I won’t lie her music is perfect for sad folk because her music hits you pretty hard in the heart. But, even if you aren’t despondent her music will surely pick you up and pull you in for a close intimate look into her life
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