London-based synthpop maestro Polly Scattergood is finally ready to dazzle us with her second full-length, Arrows. After roughly four years writing and rewriting and recording across Europe (well, Germany and the UK), we can finally see the follow-up to her eponymous debut in the distance.

Her first foray into the world of music was an enchanting world of dreams and tales of love and life, set to folktronica backing and brooding, ethereal ambience. This next chapter in the sonic life exposes a poppier side, rife with hooks and looming choruses set to shake the dancefloor. We catch up with her before the release to explore her journey over the past four years.

On the back of her first record, she was labelled as a post-millennial Kate Bush by many, a comparison that irks her. "It seems like every woman is compared to her because she was a great female artist," says Scattergood. "It's easy to compare people to her, but I've seen so many women compared to her. It's flattering in one way because she's a legend, but often it's a cheap comparison. It's because she did it first, but it feels lazy, like people cant think of anything else." She's set to escape the shackles of the comparison, by lurching towards the charts with a fresh sound that borrows more from dance music than the '80s alt. icon.

Her arduous personal trek began almost the instant the PR campaign for Polly Scattergood finished. "Basically, after my first record, I started writing in my London flat. Everything I was writing wasn't how I wanted it to be, it just wasn't sounding like I wanted it to. I'm very much influenced by my surroundings... for the first time, I searched for a co-writer [Glen Kerrigan] to help, someone who had an equal love for electronics and knew what I wanted from the record. We packed a portable studio into a suitcase and went to Berlin to write. We also went to Norfolk and wrote in a little cottage. We wrote a bit in London too. It's a transient record."

But it didn't all happen overnight - there was a lot of fine-tuning to be done. "I write a lot, every day, and I pretty much had the basis of an album ready to go very quickly. The thing that took time was the tweaking and playing. I'm a perfectionist. I didn't want to rush and there was no need to. However it's received, I wanted to be proud."

Scattergood decreed during interviews for album numero uno that she was a storyteller first and foremost - and it was evident in her music. "I have a vivid imagination. I love watching films - my favourite thing is to turn out the lights and just watch something." You can almost imagine her eyes lighting up at the Fox fanfare. "In general I'm influenced by my surroundings... sitting in a bar in a different city having a drink and just watching people is always great."

Her narratives were always sculpted for maximum effect, but she sang with such conviction that it didn't matter at all what was real and what was woven. "This time it's a mixture. It's influenced by the journey to get to the finish, and in that respect its autobiographical. It does start raw and real, but then it goes into other worlds; when we were in Berlin we wrote differently to when we were in London. The writing was different, and the production was different."

Polly Scattergood was an introverted affair, and whether those stories were conjured or they came from within was irrelevant, it was still a record with a deep personality injected with emotions that tugged at your heartstrings. "I guess in a way Arrows is more an adventure. I've grown up a bit in the time between the records - the first album was written when I was a teenager. This time around I had more time to decide what I wanted to put out, and working with other people has helped me edit. It's not as introspective. Musically I've tried to push the boundaries further... I think the highs are higher and the lows are lower."

In that pushing of boundaries, she's veered towards more synthetic territories, encroaching upon indie-house and the production of pure pop. "I was always more into electronic music, but when I was making Arrows I became more of a synth geek... and I was already a pretty big synth geek. The guys I was working with had worked with M83 and Moby and the way they played had an influence on me."

Scattergood hasn't just absorbed herself in one genre though, and many different styles have inspired her. She rattles off her inspirations with glee: "At the moment I love Chvrches, Perfume Genius, Hot Chip, Jon Hopkins, Phosphorescent, Ghostpoet, The xx... when I was writing the record it was things like Sigur Rós, Bowie, Kraftwerk... all the classics... I saw an incredible guy support Mozart's Sister - who were also great - he was fantastic, he was called Swimming Lessons and I got him to support me after that 'cause he blew my mind!"

Given the perception of Brit School alumni, it would be easy to overlook the fact that Scattergood is among them. Leona Lewis and Adele are two famous examples of what people commonly assume to come from the institution. "It gets a bad rap. It was the only place that let me study for free. I couldn't get into my local college because I didn't have great grades. I think there were a lot of soul and R&B singers when I was there, but I'm into what I'm into, and I would never dream of being someone I'm not. It's not somewhere that tells your who to be, but it gives kids the chance to study music in their own way."

However, even though she values her time spent there, there are still those who aren't so impressed. "People hear it and automatically think I'm a product. When I'm doing something real it's not very good to have people assume that. The reality is, if I hadn't gone there and studied I wouldn't have met my manager who introduced me to Mute [her label]. I don't know if I'd even be doing music without it. I'd be working in Colchester probably."

It may have take longer than expected, but from start to finish, Arrows has been a journey for Polly Scattergood. She's adamant about that. "I was a little bit lost when I started writing the record. It was my arrow out of the situation... it showed me where I needed to go." She says, unravelling the connections in her mind. "I still don't think I've finished my journey, but it's part of a bigger journey that takes me to somewhere happier, and completely different."


Polly Scattergood's forthcoming album, Arrows, is released on September 23rd by Mute. For more information, head here.