Friday, July 29, 2011

A song a day: PJ Harvey - The Wind

I always believed that Stories from the City was PJ Harvey's sexy album and there are a number of songs that allude to this. However, a much wiser person than myself pointed out that while Stories is all shimmer and surface, Is this Desire? is the legitimately sexy album in the Harvey canon. How so? While Stories brims with overt displays of sexiness which no doubt reflects Harvey's experience of writing it in NY, Desire is actually sexual rather than sexy if you get what I mean. Its sonics are layered in grinding bass and whispered electronics that are both sensual and sultry rather the brassy rock of the aforementioned album. The Wind essentially tells the tale of Catherine, a lady formally of the city who has removed herself and is apparently alone in a hill side Chapel (I know it's probably not literal but whatever). Despite the narrators question 'can't we give a husband to our Catherine?', it sounds as if she's doing just fine by herself. The low whisper of Harvey, the songs' sultry demeanor and the moaning of the character (I don't think she's complaining about the weather) equate to one hot song. It's a good example of the entire album - superficially, it sounds like a break up album but dig deeper and there something infinitely more lurid going on.


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