I have a nostalgic soft spot in my heart for music that is from the late alternative 90’s and 00’s and Pollyanna Blue just captured a spot there even if they formed in the summer of 2019. They give me Vercua Salt, Republica, Luscious Jackson, and Lush vibes. So much so, that I had to read their bio several times to make sure that I read their forming year correct because if I had to place a bet, I would have said late 90’s and 00’s.
Hailing from Bristol (England not Tennessee), Zoe Collins (guitar, vocals) and Rich Earle (bass, vocals) took the name inspiration from a self help book called Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway. The book talks about a nickname ‘Pollyanna‘, typically given to a person who is deemed overtly optimistic. (We all know at least one “Positive Pollyanna”.) Combined with Zoe and Rich’s connection to the difficulties of life, Pollyanna Blue, was born.
The duo released their debut single, “Saviour” during the 2020 lockdown. Post pandemic and now with the freedom to be able to be in a room with each other, Pollyanna Blue, is ready treat fans with their latest single, “Haunted”, from their forthcoming EP (date TBC in 2023).
Recorded by Ash Scott (Memorist, Harper), the song explores processing and mentally fighting against anguish and the pressures of repetitive situations. Zoe says this about the inspiration for the “Haunted”,
In this song, trauma is depicted as an unforgiving evil spirit that will come at you at night and relentlessly try to tear you down. The impactful delivery of the lyrics harnesses the real range of emotions of someone experiencing immense feelings of emptiness, sadness and anger. The lyric ‘like a headache’ depicts the side effects of dealing with large and repetitive amounts of trauma and stress to the brain, painting an unpleasant experience for the person being Haunted by their own predicament.
There’s a lot I enjoy about the “Haunted”, and if you are a regular reader of PVO, then you know I’m a bass fan and Rich’s bass hooks me from the start. It’s quiet and haunting. (Pun intended.) There’s a distinct sound with his bass that instantly has me feeling very Seattle grunge, especially Alice in Chains and as previously mentioned, Luscious Jackson, specifically the bass vibe in “Naked Eye”. It has everything I like in a solid bass line…gritty, dirty, and heavy. It leaves you a hot sweaty mess.
Not to be outshined by her partner in music crime, Zoe, in her own right commands attention with her vocal prowess. It screams, ‘I am woman, hear me roar’. She grabs the listener’s attention, quietly and even gently, before she says fuck it and raises her voice into that roar that only a woman who is at her wits end can do. It’s a vocal roar that is powerful, emotional, but also one that is clean and crisp like the lyrics.
I’m really looking forward to Pollyanna Blue‘s upcoming EP, but for now, “Haunted” will have to satiate my craving for 90’s and 00’s music when female front bands kicked you in the teeth and never apologised for it. Pollyanna Blue has kicked me in the teeth and I don’t mind at all.
Listen to “Haunted” below