PJ Harvey’s Lyrical Realism Comes to Life in Her Music Video for ‘The Wheel’


PJ Harvey is really focused on process right now. Her new album, The Hope Six Demolition Project, due in April, was inspired by her travels to Kosovo, Washington, D.C., and Afghanistan (her first collection of poetry, published last year, centered on those same trips), in collaboration with director Seamus Murphy. She wrote the album before a live audience inside a glass box in London's Somerset House, and now we have the video for the first song, “The Wheel.” In it, you’ll find Polly Jean in Kosovo taking notes, exploring curios found in abandoned buildings, and immersing herself in an unfamiliar culture. “When I’m writing a song I visualize the entire scene. I can see the colors, I can tell the time of day, I can sense the mood, I can see the light changing, the shadows moving, everything in that picture," Harvey said in a statement. "Gathering information from secondary sources felt too far removed for what I was trying to write about. I wanted to smell the air, feel the soil and meet the people of the countries I was fascinated with.” (Translation: When she sings “a revolving wheel of metal chairs,” she means it.)