UPDATE: Hear Harvey’s full version of “The Wheel” via BBC Radio.
PJ Harvey offered another glimpse into her upcoming new album, The Hope Six Demolition Project, with a video offering snippets of two new songs: lead track “The Community of Hope” and the penultimate “The Wheel.” The record is slated to come out on April 15th.
The tunes blend seamlessly together in the clip, which longtime Harvey collaborator Seamus Murphy directed, but the first half shows the vocalist singing about a small town beleaguered with drug zombies over a hopeful chord progression. “That’s just life in the community of hope,” she intones. A soldier dances in one scene and the singer-songwriter brandishes a microphone in another shot captured during her “Recording in Process” session for the album at London’s Somerset House. It switches over halfway through into “The Wheel,” a darker-hued song in which she sings about children vanishing as a helicopter swoops overhead. It ends with her holding a guitar and switching off the music.
Harvey wrote the album, which she recorded at Somerset House with producers Flood and John Parish in a studio that allowed public audiences to observe the process, after spending time in Kosovo, Afghanistan and Washington, D.C. over the last four years. “When I’m writing a song I visualize the entire scene,” she wrote in a statement. “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. 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.”
She previously released a snippet of the heavier track “The Ministry of Defence,” with another Murphy-directed clip.
Harvey has scheduled several festival dates for this year throughout Europe, where she’ll play with a new nine-piece band. No North American dates have been announced.
The Hope Six Demolition Project Track List
1. “The Community of Hope”
2. “The Ministry of Defence”
3. “A Line in the Sand”
4. “Chain of Keys”
5. “River Anacostia”
6. “Near the Memorials to Vietnam and Lincoln”
7. “The Orange Monkey”
9. “The Ministry of Social Affairs”
10. “The Wheel”
11. “Dollar, Dollar”