Single Review – PJ Harvey – I’ll Be Waiting

Nothing quite stings with raw emotion the way a vulnerable voice singing over an acoustic guitar does. And PJ Harvey’s new single ‘I’ll Be Waiting’ (double a side with percussively haunted ‘A Dog Called Money’) is the epitome of this. Released a year since her Grammy-nominated ninth album ‘The Hope Six Demolition Project’, her first new material in five years, ‘I’ll Be Waiting’ shimmers with sweetened despair as Harvey tells the story of a child filled with hurt and simmering rage from witnessing the desolation of their home. Inspired by her travels through Afghanistan and Kosovo, as well as Washington DC, the track feels like a chilled wind sweeping across a barren landscape. The sheer sparseness is heavily reminiscent of tracks from 2011’s ‘Let England Shake’. Harvey manages to create a stunning song from the images of death and abandonment. Each verse building with words of increasing acrimony, revenge forming from grief, as the protagonist sings of cutting thorns that grow from the fallen. Within ‘I’ll Be Waiting’ PJ Harvey creates a heartbreakingly beautiful representation of the cycle of hatred; ‘Now I hate everyone, before I used to love, before I used to love.’

Hayley Miller

Single Review – PJ Harvey – Community of Hope

PJ Harvey has released the second single of her upcoming ninth studio album from the enigmatic singer-songwriter with ‘Community of Hope’. It is a song that makes direct reference to the album title which is a reference in itself to the US government’s Hope Six project which is countered with the title of Hope Six Demolition Project. She writes about the plight of poorer communities being forced out of their homes for gentrification processes. The song gives off an optimistic tone however of communities standing up to the government and resisting the changes. Musically this is reflected by the buoyed piano chords, ringing guitars and the bursts of saxophones in the chorus along with the backing vocals which give off a sense of euphoria which Harvey matches with her own vocals. Another great track, but with an altered tone.

 

Owen Riddle