Single Review – PJ Harvey – The Wheel

PJ Harvey is one of those artists that are impossible to pin down and like the late David Bowie, she likes to shift and change direction often. It is because of this and her own eccentric individualism that she still regarded as a powerful artistic force in British music. The fact she is only act to have claimed two Mercury Prize awards is testament to that. Her follow-up to the widely acclaimed Let England Shake from 20111 is The Hope Six Demolition Project. It is an album that has been recorded from her live performances at Somerset House in London last year and draws heavily from her travels in Kosovo, United States and Afghanistan over the last four years. ‘The Wheel’ is the opening track from the album and it features roaring saxophones throughout. These are set around loose, yet purposeful acoustic riffs and the understated power of the backing vocals. Polly Harvey’s own vocals are delivered with her typical rising vocals that move up in range with each line. The distinct imagery of the dark undercurrents of daily life in Afghanistan is something Harvey channels with a mix of subtlety and bluntness. It is without doubt a promising start to another exciting prospect for 2016.

 

Owen Riddle @oriddleo1995

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