by William Kosh
photo by Seamus Murphy
When she rose to prominence in the early ‘90s, it made perfect sense to utter PJ Harvey’s name in the same breath as Alanis Morissette and Pearl Jam. Today, Morissette and Vedder still feel very much tied to their decade of origin but for Harvey, that was several incarnations ago. Consider 2011’s Let England Shake, a pop album with three songs about The Battle of Gallipoli, a botched naval attack orchestrated by the Allies aimed at gaining control of shipping routes between Russia and Europe. Harvey has become preoccupied by global conflict, with lyrics focusing on everything from Iraq and Syria to World War I. Her politically driven music and poetry have landed her in the crux between journalism and art, so at this point you’re as likely to read about her in NPR or The Guardian as you are in Rolling Stone or Pitchfork. And yet, influenced by her travels in Kosovo, Afghanistan and the District of Columbia, Harvey’s new album The Hope Six Demolition Project might be her most politically driven work yet.