- 07 Jul 23
10th album from maverick songstress.
Seven years on from her Grammy-nominated The Hope Six Demolition Project, PJ Harvey has reunited with long-time collaborator John Parish and producer/vibemaster Flood for these dozen songs, written in a heady three-week period.
I Inside The Old Year Dying doesn’t exactly sound like you’d expect a PJ Harvey record to sound, particularly her vocals, but that shouldn’t be surprising, as Harvey has never been afraid to push herself creatively. Building on the more folky atmospherics of her more recent output, this is Harvey at her most esoteric, with songs created mostly on acoustic instruments, swirling their way quietly under your skin.
‘The Nether-edge’ sounds like a medieval folk song set to a drum machine, with unsettling lyrics about “chalky children” and “baskets full of shadows”, while the insistent drone of lead single ‘A Child’s Question, August’ seems to wind its way into your brain by osmosis, its coda of “Love me tender” repeated through the reverb-heavy ‘August’.
The title track could have easily been a raucous cacophony if the instruments were plugged in, but it isn’t until the closing ‘A Noiseless Noise’ that the amps are finally turned up beyond seven for a fugue of noise and distortion, making for a wonderful release of tension. Not an immediate album by any means, but well worth sticking with.
Out now via Partisan Records.
Key Track: ‘A Noiseless Noise’
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