Sunday, February 13, 2011


PJ Harvey. Ever changing, ever challenging, always brilliant. Harvey has shifted from the haunting and brittle sounds of her previous album 'White Chalk' to something more weighty and corporal on her eighth album 'Let England Shake'.

Recorded in a 19th Century church overlooking the sea in Dorset, England, 'Let England Shake' finds Harvey delving into the nuances of war and inhabiting a position of an imaginary war correspondent. Created with long time collaborators Flood, John Parish and Mick Harvey, the album references a number of wars over the past 100 years and remains impartial, narrating political turmoil, nationalism, conflict and the physicality of war.

"I’ve seen and done things I want to forget;
I’ve seen soldiers fall like lumps of meat,
Blown and shot out beyond belief.
Arms and legs were in the trees.

I’ve seen and done things I want to forget;
coming from an unearthly place,
Longing to see a woman’s face,
Instead of the words that gather pace,
The words that maketh murder."

The lyrics were constantly reworked over a three year period and Harvey has said that she wanted to explore the ideas and experiences behind war but without being dogmatic or preachy. When she began work on the music, she wanted to balance out the weightiness of the words with something energizing and engaging. With each body of work she unravels and discovers what the songs need and in this instance she felt that an impartial/characterless voice was required to act as a narrator.

To lean more about PJ Harvey:

To listen to Let England Shake on NPR:

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails