Polly Mackey stole Art School Girlfriend from her ex.

"My ex-girlfriend went to art school, and she used to DJ and was going to use it as her stage name" said Polly. "I had been writing music for about a year and was with Domino and they kept asking me for a name. Every one I gave them was already taken, so I took hers."

Ouch. Is that one of the reasons she is firmly left behind?

"She was very gracious about it, actually. We are still friends. Now every time that I play I think of her and that's quite a nice memory".

Luckily this story has had a happy ending, but listening to the handful of releases by Art School Girlfriend so far would suggest that on some other occasions, she hasn't been so lucky.

This is something that her debut album will acknowledge head on upon its release in 2020, and from which she'll play some new songs during her set at the Hug and Pint this weekend.

"The album still sounds like me, but it is definitely a bit more direct. My life was turned upside down this year, and I went through a strange break up. I went into the studio pretty much as it was happening quite soon after. It was almost a way to have a bit of catharsis through that.

Much of the album's lyrics have come from the diaries that Polly kept during this time, reflecting real fragments of her emotions.

"Weirdly, a lot of the songs are in a major key. Sad subject matter but a happy sound, which is a bit weird. I can't make happy music, even if I write in major key, it still sounds sad.

"I really like it, though, I hope others will. It's the most free that I've ever felt in music."

Art School Girlfriend, or Polly, moved from North Wales to London in a self-reincarnation after her band Deaf Club split. After years on the gigging scene there, she moved to Margate, then back to London. In the last year she has toured with Marika Hackman and The Japanese House, fellow power-house females who, like Art School Girlfriend, sing openly about their relationships with women.

For Polly, her album signals a fresh honesty with herself about the musical world around her.

"This year has been amazing for queer music - not as a genre, because its not, but by being music written from the perspective of someone who is queer.

"That's an amazing thing about where music lies now, because when I was growing up, there wasn't really anything that I could listen to that I felt had my full experience or that made me feel comfortable with my own experience. By existing I was being political.

"Now, it's totally different. Look at Frank Ocean's new music - he's not writing music about being a queer man, he's just a queer man making music."

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