For the past week I’ve been pretty much obsessed with the latest PJ Harvey album, Let England Shake. This is a bit weird for three reasons:
1) I’ve never listened to a PJ Harvey album before
2) I haven’t listened to an album repeatedly, all the way through, for years
3) There are no dubstep bangers on there
The genius of the album is in the way it blends bleak war poetry with a sort of distant, ethereal approximation of folk music to create a statement that is as English as misplaced stoicism but also warmly universal, by virtue of the humanist themes explored throughout. And stuff.
PJ Harvey has worked with photojournalist Seamus Murphy to create videos for the album, including the title track posted below. If you are unfamiliar with Murphy, you should investigate his work. While it might have been his photos from Afghanistan that caught Harvey’s eye, his warzone reportage is more than matched by the rest of his portfolio, notably a stark, eerie account of an Ebola outbreak in Uganda in 2000.
Very good. Let’s have another one while we’re here.