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You haven’t heard them like this before, but you may already know the band. One is James Chapman, better known as Maps, whose critically acclaimed debut We Can Create was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize, and whose latest album Vicissitude, came out on Mute. The other is Polly Scattergood, the electrically charged artist who has released two solo albums on Mute.
The seeds of Chapman and Scattergood’s creative partnership were sown in 2011, at Mute’s Short Circuit festival, a special event at London’s Roundhouse. The night saw different collaborations with Mute artists and Polly and James paired up to perform each other’s songs.
On Dead Waves launched their debut track, Blackbird, at the end of 2015. Q said “… a world of smeared mascara and trailer-park heartache, there’s something wonderfully cinematic about this debut single.” while The Guardian wrote “Blackbird, their debut single, somehow nods to both shoegaze and country, with a David Lynchian creepiness to both music and lyrics.”
Heavy of atmosphere, rich in melody, rippled with an air of malice and flowing female and male vocals, On Dead Waves’ debut album will be released on Mute on May 20.