It’s been some time since I’ve talked at y’all Fangirls about a old favorite artist of mine. Recently, I’ve found myself extra into an artist I’ve adored for a while now. So, I figured it was time to talk about the legendary PJ Harvey. From shouty & grungey rock to dreamy & soft & dreamy piano ballads, Ms. Harvey knows how to make some incredible tunes.
I found PJ Harvey’s music through a small chain of people. Liz Feldman is a comedian & writer that for a short time ran a talk show from her kitchen called “This Just Out”. It focused on satirical humor & events of the world of lesbians. She also frequently featured musicians on the show, and once her friends from a band called Uh Huh Her appeared on the show. After looking into that band, I found that their name was from an album of PJ Harvey’s. That lead me to listen to the album and fall completely in love with Harvey’s music. Six years later, I’m still rocking out just as hard to her music. Maybe even harder.
Harvey’s music is the kind where you can find a song to match every mood, event, & sound of your life. With 12 albums released, there’s a lot to choose from. Her first album Dry came in 1992. Dry is an intense record, bursting with tough rock & feelings. I’ve read in interviews that Harvey thought that Dry would be only chance she had to make a record, so she put everything into it, and because of that everything about it is very extreme. Which is a perfectly way of describing the album. Harvey definitely has albums & songs that sound very similar to Dry, and has even recycled a few of the songs from it, including a favorite of mine “Dress”. Dry is an essential album for everyone. If punk rock isn’t really your bag, PJ Harvey will no doubt be the one to change your mind.
There’s something about all the chugging guitar, all the rawness of her music that is addicting and lovable. I’ve found a whole lot of comfort in her music. Even if lyrics aren’t at all specific to anything going on, I’m sure you all understand the sweet release of loud music. As a musician myself, Harvey has been a big well of inspiration for me. Her music is raw, sensual, and just plain incredible. When you hear something like that, it makes you strive to create something of that caliber yourself. Especially recently, she’s been the main musical influence for me.
PJ Harvey’s music is powerful in every sense of the word. Her sound is pounding, even in the quieter songs. I encourage everyone to experience her music, and to not let all the distortion get in the way if that’s not really your bag. I think there’s something in her collection for everyone. I suggest starting with one of my favorite albums, and what’s said to be her most commercial release, Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea. It’s an amazing album packed with a whole lot of eclectic jems. It also includes an outstanding song done by her & Thom Yorke of Radiohead. Everyone needs some PJ Harvey. It helps the life go down easier.
There’s a whole lot of songs I could add in here, so I’m going to go with what I think are essentials or my current personal favorites. Enjoy, Fangirls! Happy Harvey-ing!