Daily Dose: ‘The Wheel’ by PJ Harvey

This is growing on me in a big way the more I hear it. I liked it at first, but now it’s really stuck with me as something special. I’m happy about that, because to be honest, PJ has pretty much snuck under my radar until now. Oh, I’ve heard the big hits, sure, but I didn’t think I’ve ever actually made a conscious decision to sit down and listen to one of her albums. I’ll get to it at some point, too many people have said she’s got too much form to put it off forever, and this track is a good incentive to keep an eye out for the upcoming ninth (ninth!) LP. It’s pretty mysterious this, you’d struggle to say exactly what it was about, other than perhaps some sort of tragedy where 28,000 people disappear. Uplifting and joyous the song is not, as you would imagine with that subject matter, but it has a lovely folk-blues feel to it that is enhanced rather than diminished by the loose, almost messy feel to proceedings. Apparently the new album was in part recorded in full view of the public, which is a pretty brave and cool thing to do and probably influenced the feel of the record quite a bit. There’s some carefully orchestrated chaos going on here, deliberately confusing instrumentally but very intense regardless. PJ Harvey strikes me as a very intense person, actually, so this suits her well.

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