Polly Jean Harvey notoriously holstered her guitar in favor of the piano on her last album, White Chalk, and it looks as though the 6-string won’t be the centerpiece of the next PJ Harvey record either. In an interview, which preceded a performance, on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show this past weekend, Harvey dropped a few details about her next LP.
“I’ve written about half of my new record on one of these,” Harvey said, referring to a nearby autoharp to be used for the performance that followed. “I’ve got three autoharps and I’ve had them tuned in slightly different chords, uh, fixtures here, so that they’re slightly out of the normal line of what an autoharp would sound like. There’s a lot more minor keys, a lot of darker keys.”
New album?! Please, do go on, Ms. Harvey…
The next body of work [‘Let England Shake’], it’s an example of the whole album, really, in that i was looking outwards a lot more. I think a lot of my work has often been about the interior, the emotional, what happens inside oneself. This time I’ve just been looking out, so it’s not only to do with taking a look at England, but taking a look at the world and what’s happening in the current day world affairs. But always trying to come from the human point of view because I don’t feel qualified to sing from a political standpoint.
Still not sure what to expect from her new record, but, in the meantime, let’s watch this performance from last night’s show, in which she sings a politically themed tune in front of British Prime Minister Gordon Brown: