By John Curley
In a wide-ranging video interview with NME.com that was posted in two parts this week, PJ Harvey discussed the themes of and the inspirations behind her forthcoming Let England Shake album. Among the topics that Harvey spoke about in the interview were: her writing and where it’s going; how what’s happening in the world has influenced her writing; how her perspective has changed as she’s gotten older and more experienced as a songwriter; how she would sing the words of each song before picking up an instrument; that the album was recorded in a church and the effect that the setting had on the recording sessions; how conflicts are ongoing and will continue after we are gone; that she wrote the album from the perspective of an Englishwoman but wanted the themes to be universal; how nations relate to each other through war; why she read history books as well as blogs by Afghani women before setting out to write the songs on the album; and how she wanted to present the facts through songs.
The two parts of the interview can be viewed by clicking the appropriate links below:
Harvey recently released the first single from the album. The song is called “The Words That Maketh Murder.” It’s an interesting song, and I really like the fact that it borrows the “What if I take my problem to the United Nations?” line from Eddie Cochran’s late 1950s classic “Summertime Blues.” The video for “The Words That Maketh Murder” can be viewed on YouTube.
Let England Shake will be released on February 14th in the UK and the following day in the United States.
Harvey has been announcing tour dates in recent weeks. At the moment, she’s got two shows scheduled in the United States—an April 14th performance at the Warfield in San Francisco and her April 17th appearance at the Coachella Festival in Indio, CA. Check the Tour section of Harvey's Web site for additional dates in the coming days and weeks.