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PJ Harvey, War Correspondent?

Written by Barnaby Smith on February 14, 2011

In the same week that her new album Let England Shake receives praise from critics across the globe, PJ Harvey has been approached by the Imperial War Museum in London to become an ‘official war song correspondent’.

The Guardian reports that the diminutive 41-year-old has been offered the chance to travel to the world’s most troubled areas of conflict where the British army are involved, and compose music inspired by her experiences.

Let England Shake, Harvey’s eighth studio album and follow-up to 2007’s White Chalk, was heavily influenced by the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq along with campaigns of the past, with lyrics inspired by the direct recollections of veterans as well as war photographer Seamus Murphy.

The Imperial War Museum’s invitation to Harvey was prompted when the singer gave a radio interview where she stated she would welcome the opportunity to write songs in war zones, saying, “I would have relished that. I find myself more and more yearning to work like that, even if there is no such official appointment, to just go out there anyway.”

Roger Tolson of the Imperial War Museum said, “We are certainly interested in working with PJ Harvey. It is something we can take forward as we have never commissioned anybody in that capacity.”

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