Polly-Jean Harvey has forged a path very few artists can dream of, never mind follow. She oozes class, credibility, power, dominance, truth and most importantly, great songs.
She’s been honoured with collaborations from some of our generations’ greatest minds; Nick Cave, Thom Yorke, Josh Homme to name a few; but I can imagine the honour was all theirs.
She’s now the only two-time Mercury Award winner in its history, and with her back catalogue, it’s easy to see why.
The delicacy of ‘The Piano’, the power behind ‘To Bring You My Love’, and the alt-rock beginnings of the beautiful ‘Missed’; she’s been a masterful songstress for many decades.
The track I want to leave you with is not only my favourite PJ song, but one of my all-time favourite songs ever. It’s just so very perfect in a multitude of ways, and has influenced my songwriting deeply. The pace of it, the desperate vocal delivery of the verses, the pulsating guitar part, the angelic subtle harmonies, and the sheer basicness of the entire song structure. The song is carried by the lyrics, which make your soul feel like it’s just gone 12 rounds in a boxing ring; internally battered & bruised but still wanting to try again. It’s that slight 1% of hope that is just left unspoken throughout the entire song, the creak of light in the darkness; that really gives this track something far deeper than my words can describe.
This is ‘The Darker Days of Me and Him’ - live in London in 2004, exquisite.