Art School Girlfriend is the atmospheric project of musician and singer-songwriter Polly Mackey. After spending the early 2010s as part of textural shoegaze band Deaf Club, Mackey transitioned to a more synth-friendly approach with her solo work, finding her voice on several EPs and various releases, and refining her ambient pop sound on more accomplished statements like her 2023 album Soft Landing.
Originally from Wrexham, North Wales, Mackey developed a taste for the work of artists such as PJ Harvey and The Jesus & Mary Chain, as well as various new wave and shoegaze bands. After playing in a number of bands, including Deaf Club, she moved to London, where she lived for five years before settling in Margate, Kent. It was here that she began writing her own songs.
Polly Mackey’s second album – Soft Landing (2023) – is the high point of Art School Girlfriend’s career. It represents a change of tone and a much more contented and philosophical state of mind. The title came to her through an illusion of frequency: a turn of phrase thrown out in conversation and mentioned in the news.