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PJ Harvey - The Hope Six Demolition Project Album Review

In years gone by, simpler more uncomplicated times maybe, you could look forward to an album release as just that, a new album by a band or artist that you liked/loved/adored/respected etc. Over time the lyrics may have undergone closer attention or even been subjected to some scrutiny, the artist may have later told you the inspiration, where it was written, who or what it was about. There was however often some mystery left in your own discovery of whatever album you'd happened upon or whatever song had grabbed you. There was less of a pre-amble and little chance of an essay by a PR company appraising you on the cultural significance of said material.

PJ Harvey - The Hope Six Demolition Project Album Review

People are all different, thankfully, and some may love the detail new releases are afforded, some may want to know the ins and outs of every line before they've heard a note and for some the back story may make sense out of the content and thus make the album more understandable and ultimately embraced.

The new album from PJ Harvey, her 9th solo album, and first since her 2011 Mercury Prize winning 'Let England Shake', is most definitely an album that could either be confused by its paraphernalia or complimented by it; it's a question of balance and very subjective. For me, whilst not forgetting, or dismissing, how the album was arrived at, I'd prefer just to concentrate solely on whether the album's any good or not. (The book, documentary, photography, poetry, somewhat contrived recording etc, whilst in no way insignificant, shouldn't really detract from how good or bad the album is, they're just points of interest for consideration) Let the music speak for itself.

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PJ Harvey Announced As Sunday Night Other Stage Headliners At Glastonbury

PJ Harvey Coldplay Glastonbury Festival

The eagerly anticipated Glastonbury 2016 line-up continues to unfold as PJ Harvey is announced as the Other Stage headliner on Sunday evening - facing Coldplay on the Pyramid Stage and complimenting Jeff Lynne’s ELO, performing in the Sunday afternoon ‘legends’ slot.

PJ HarveyPJ Harvey will be taking to Glastonbury's Other Stage on the Sunday night

PJ Harvey will be taking to the muddy fields for her first Glasto performance in 12 years after she took to the stage at the iconic festival in 2004.

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PJ Harvey Unveils 'The Hope Six Demolition Project' This April

PJ Harvey

PJ Harvey has finally announced the finished album that she was seen recording last year in London. 'The Hope Six Demolition Project' is due to be released this Spring, and the announcement comes alongside the lead single 'The Wheel' which debuted today (January 22nd 2016).

PJ HarveyPJ Harvey finally has a title for her new album

The album was recorded in 2015 as part of a London art project called 'Recording in Progress' at Somerset House, where she and her team including producers Flood and John Parish recorded and produced it while visitors were able to watch the process through one-way glass. 

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Watch PJ Harvey Give You A Taste Of Upcoming New Album

PJ Harvey

PJ Harvey has officially announced that her as-yet-untitled ninth studio album is on its way and will arrive in spring 2016. The album was recorded in front of fans last year at Somerset House in London, as part of Harvey’s month-long ‘Recording in Progress’ residency.

PJ HarveyPJ Harvey has previewed her new album.

The brief 30-second film shows Harvey walking around the ruins of a building with Roman columns, looking at a tank which has fallen into a river at the foot of a mountain and writing in her notebook.

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PJ Harvey To Record Her New Album In Public

PJ Harvey

Two-time Mercury Music Prize winner PJ Harvey has announced plans to make her ninth album, which include one rather eye-catching detail: she will be recording it in public.

Having turned a room at Somerset House in central London into a recording studio, the star will invite members of the public to watch her work in the studio over a four week period beginning on January 16th.

PJ Harvey
PJ Harvey is set to turn herself into an art exhibit when she records her ninth album later this month

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The Landmark Performance That Never Was: How PJ Harvey Nearly Fronted Nirvana

PJ Harvey Nirvana Dave Grohl Foo Fighters

PJ Harvey very nearly collaborated with the remaining members of Nirvana, for a special one-off performance of the band’s song ‘Milk It,’ earlier this year. In an interview with NME, Dave Grohl, now the frontman of Foo Fighters, revealed that he asked the British songwriter to perform with him and Krist Novoselic because she was of Kurt Cobain’s favourite songwriters. Kurt was the singer and guitarist of Nirvana until he took his own life in 1994.

The performance in question would have taken place on February 19, Grohl revealed. He was planning for a concert with the Sound City Players and realised that Stevie Nicks and John Fogerty weren’t going to be able to make it, so started to think about alternative additions to the evening’s performance. “Someone came up with the idea of doing a Nirvana song with PJ Harvey. Kurt loved her and we love her and we thought, 'Yeah, what would we do?' I said: 'God, what if we were to do 'Milk It' from 'In Utero' with Polly singing?' We all looked at each other like, 'Woah, that would be amazing…' and then she couldn't do it!"

It’s been 19 years since Kurt’s death and the remaining members of Nirvana have never performed any of the band’s songs in public, since. “It's sacred ground,” said Grohl. If we were ever to do something like that it would have to be right because you want to pay tribute. There's a reason Foo Fighters don't do Nirvana songs, and it's a good reason." If the PJ Harvey collaboration had come off, it would have been a momentous occasion for fans of the band. 

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PJ Harvey, Let England Shake Album Review

'You won't find a girl in this damn World that will compare to me.' 'The West Country Girl' with 'A crooked smile and a happy heart shaped face', 'A glove of bones at her wrist' and 'A milk white throat', 'Her accent which I'm told is broad' and her hair, 'Wet with tears and goodbyes, her beautiful hair of deepest black, as deep as ink and as deep as the deep deep sea.' PJ Harvey in one guise or another has always been assured to stir the emotions of her listeners and lovers alike. After 20 years of making the most extraordinary music she is back and showcasing even more creativity than ever.

If there is such a thing as a typical PJ Harvey album, which there probably isn't, this is most definitely not it! After producing the sublime but underappreciated 'White Chalk' (Dear Darkness and When Under Ether well worth revisiting) some 3 years ago Polly Jean has had time to re-evaluate her song writing technique and become 'confident to do so.' 'The way I write songs has changed over the last 4 years. I am not a writer who finds it easy, I find it difficult' (You'd have been hard pushed to spot PJ's confessed weakness had she herself not pointed it out) 'Let England Shake' is the jaw dropping result, an album upon first listen you may have had trouble placing at all until track #5 when certain previous PJ traits creep in.

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PJ Harvey, The Piano Single Review

PJ Harvey
The Piano
Single Review

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PJ Harvey, White Chalk Album Review

PJ Harvey
White Chalk
Album Review

Polly Jean Harvey has never done anything but totally fu**ing flourish, no matter what she has done. From the balls-out, armpit-hair out, scratchy, primal rock howling of her 4 track demos to the elegantly grown-up ‘Stories From The City, Stories From the Sea’ and back halfway between the two with ‘Uh-Huh Her’, she stands alone, never resting easy under any journalistic tagging system. Whether flouncing about a Glastonbury stage in a pink leotard, or strumming sensually on a guitar that dwarfs her miniscule frame, she is never less than enticing.

And so to album Number Eight. Eschewing her guitar for a piano, on most of the tracks, is something of a genius move. Never one to dwell in a comfort zone, the less-than expert playing of the piano lends the songs a naivety, denied by the lyrical content and also harks back to the early days of her guitar playing, when you could almost sense her fingers scraping clumsily up the fret board.

That’s not to say, however, that White Chalk sounds in any way amateur. It has a kookiness not unlike fellow pianist Frida Hyvonen and a gentleness befitting of a woman who has run through the gamut of angst and angers and found confidence in articulating them. The histrionics on ‘The Mountain’ are insane, in both the best and worst senses of that word. At the other end of the scale, ‘Dear Darkness’ is elegiac, tiptoeing on the piano keyboard, delivered as though the words are coming out of her mouth, and the notes springing forth from her fingers, for the very first time.

PJ Harvey's vocals seem tamed, to some extent; perhaps by the introduction of the piano into the fray. So it’s not until the third or fourth listen that the vocals and lyrics really hammer home: until then, the whole album is like a cloud of emotion and atmosphere hanging in the background, waiting to be invited in.

I’d put the kettle on, the company is worth the wait.

Hayley Avron


PJ Harvey - PJ Harvey - PJ Harvey Interview

PJ Harvey
PJ Harvey - PJ Harvey Interview

PJ Harvey releases her seventh album 'Uh Huh Her' on 31 May on IslandRecords. This is the follow up to 2001's Mercury Prize-winning 'Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea' – the album is preceded by her great single 'The Letter' which came out this week.

After a summer of live dates - including appearances at the V Festival, the Eden Project and the first rock concert at Tate Modern – Harvey finished work on the new record in the autumn of 2003.

The album was written, performed, recorded, mixed & produced by Harvey, who chose Head to assist in additional recording and mixing and Rob Ellis, long time collaborator, to play drums and percussion on the album. Multi-instrumentalist, Harvey, played everything else.

The full tracklisting is as follows:

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Pj Harvey

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PJ Harvey

Date of birth

9th October, 1969