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 – Daisy Victoria – Animal Lover


Pay attention now! We have a seriously hot prospect on hour hands here with Daisy Victoria. With praise coming from BBC 6 Music and a part in the BBC introducing performances, we’ll be hearing a lot more from Daisy in the future. Imagine the bracing vocals of Kate Bush, the musical mind of PJ Harvey and the live skill of Anna Calvi and you have Daisy. She balances the eccentric and mysterious with the joyful and the direct. Her new EP Animal Lover is out on August 19th and the title track displays her talent wonderfully. Between the squiriming and distorted guitars sweep her majestic and soaring vocals which display power and finesse in equal measure. You can hardly call the lyrical content well worn either. She is a hidden gem for those looking for a new artist to listen to, but I doubt she’ll be hidden for long. 

Soundcloud – https://soundcloud.com/daisy-victoria

Owen Riddle

This Weeks Music Video with PJ Harvey, The Strokes, Vic Mensa, Band of Horses and Blonde Redhead

PJ Harvey – The Hope Six Demolition Project Review

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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 is 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 2011 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. She is looking to make another big impact with this new, well travelled material.

‘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 isn’t comfortable, but generating unease is what sets her apart. ‘Community of Hope’ 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.’The Ministry of Defence’ is broken and staggered in a deliberate and bold manner by Harvey to leave the rhythm on edge and the listener dependent on the next burst of blocky instrumentation. The only constant is Harvey’s slick vocals which ooze confidence against the intimidating sound. Relief arrives in the chorus with lax backing vocals behind more sustained structures. It always threatens to fall away and subsequently does, unearthing the war-ravaged and doomed lyrics of the demise of us all. It’s quite the experience.

‘A Line in the Sand’ is largely percussion driven and delivered by Harvey with a wiry falsetto. The song is clunky in nature that gives off the nature of a folk tale or an old story. The lyrical content of mass murder is a sad but true reflection of the times we live in and the ringing guitars in the background add that reflective unsettling feel. ‘Orange Monkey’ is made up of a rumbling assortment of guitars, percussion and electronica with added riffs ringing out from the tightly packed sounds. Her vocal falsettos are utilised too as instrumentation whilst she sings in a gruff and baritone way. A track that is creative as it is theatrical. ‘Chain of Keys’ is delivered in a brash fashion akin to an eccentric western soundtrack whilst ‘The Ministry of Social Affairs’ is a cinematic ode to the Blues. On a couple of tracks she loses her way slightly when it comes to the lyrics and these are unwelcome additions to what is otherwise another brilliant album. It is dark and deliberately brutal in places with music complementing it in varying and distinct fashions without employing new or innovative methods. She shows what can still be done with apparently worn out sounds and suggests that others simply aren’t trying hard enough; at least not as hard as her.

PJ Harvey – The Hope Six Demolition Project = 9/10

 

Owen Riddle

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

This Weeks Music Video with PJ Harvey, Massive Attack, Sia, Bat For Lashes and The Last Shadow Puppets

This Weeks Music Video with PJ Harvey, Massive Attack, Coldplay, Primal Scream with Sky Ferreira, Vince Staples and FIDLAR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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