The well-known English musician Polly Jean Harvey started her career with the band Automatic Dlamini in the early 1990s. Shortly after that, the PJ Harvey trio emerged and was named after her. The debut album “Dry” marked the beginning of a unique career that made Harvey the uncrowned queen of indie-rock. Since then, she has steadfastly followed her musical path and has withdrawn from the public almost completely.
Today, a few people know that PJ Harvey initially was playing in a band. Harvey gave the band her name to stay flexible, and it should pay off a few years later. The band released two records that marked the fame of PJ Harvey. The first album received hymn reviews and it is still considered as a milestone in the alternative genre. Kurt Cobain was just as enthusiastic as the music magazine Rolling Stone that announced Polly Jean Harvey as the songwriter of the year. But Harvey was limited in her options. First, she recorded an EP with demo versions of individual songs from the first two releases “Dry” and “Rid Of Me” before finally saying goodbye to her band. Later, Polly Jean Harvey wanted to enjoy complete freedom as a solo artist.
Change Is The Only Constant
The name remained, but the sound was changed. The third studio work “To Bring You My Love” brought her later long-term collaborator and confidante John Paris on board for the first time. These two artists had previously worked together in Harvey’s first band and now found their way back to create something new. Their harmony went so far that they even released two records as two equal artists.
However, the door to the music world was wide open to PJ Harvey. She used her new possibilities to change from album to album and to develop her music in a way she wanted. Away from conventions and well-trodden musical paths, the Queen of indie-rock reinvented herself every time when the new album was released. The noisy sound was changed by a piano-accented album and turned to the saxophone as the dominant instrument. She also enjoyed working with musical relatives. Her duet with Nick Cave caused a sensation, especially when they also met privately. The relationship ended abruptly and left behind two artists who musically processed their experiences on the following record. Harvey turned to numerous new projects. She collaborated with Josh Homme of the Queens of the Stone Age in his “Dessert Sessions”, sang with Marianne Faithfull, worked as a sculptor and studied at the Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London. She created her eighth album “Let England Shake” as a concept album that dealt with Britain’s eventful history. Her live performance was streamed on “English Breakfast” television. Gordon Brown was a bit shocked and swallowed up the musical execution bravely. A few years later, Polly Jean Harvey went on new ways. For her most recent work “The Hope Six Demolition Project”, she was working in a studio with glass walls to allow her fans to watch her and band at work. After 30 years in business, Polly Jean Heavey is still capable to surprise her fans. Rumour has it that she is working on a new record and the conception of a new tour. As always, fans will only know the details until the time comes.