It’s been more than six years since PJ Harvey last unveiled a new full-length record, but the critically-acclaimed British artist has announced that her long-awaited tenth album is now finished. In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Harvey spoke at length about her latest novel, the poetic Orlam, which arrived back in April. The conversation then turned to the topic of new music, with the artist revealing she had completed a new album.
“I’m very pleased with it,” she explained, noting it will arrive mid-2023. “It took a long time to write to get right, but at last I feel very happy with it.”
PJ Harvey – ‘Dress (Demo)’
In the same interview, Harvey discussed her current musical influences, name-checking works by Ryuichi Sakamoto, Anna von Hausswolff, Radiohead members Jonny Greenwood and Thom Yorke, and most notably, Bob Dylan.
“Bob Dylan, I mean ‘Murder Most Foul’ was absolutely astonishing,” Harvey said in reference to the seventeen-minute single from the veteran musician’s 2020 album, Rough and Rowdy Ways.
“I find no greater pleasure than when I see an artist who I’ve admired all my life doing their best work as their most recent work,” Harvey said. “I think, ‘Oh, wow.’ That just fills me with such pleasure. And I felt that with Bob Dylan’s entire Rough and Rowdy Ways album.”
PJ Harvey hasn’t shared a new album since 2016’s Grammy-nominated The Hope Six Demolition Project, but she’s overseen a major reissues project in recent years, including collections of demos from each of her records. As she explained to Rolling Stone, Harvey was inspired to summon the raw immediacy of her early work on the forthcoming record.
“It actually made me want to go back to demoing on my four-track again,” she explained. “This last album I’ve just done, I literally sang in the phone; I didn’t even demo it, because I didn’t want to get attached to the demo versions. But then I felt like I’d missed out on an important part of the process, so it made me want to start doing that again.”