PJ Harvey explores Kosovo in the ruminative video for “The Wheel,” a track from her upcoming LP, The Hope Six Demolition Project. Directed by Seamus Murphy, the clip collects disparate footage – shots of sheep, a man playing clarinet, police wearing riot gear – filmed in the area between 2011 and 2015.
Harvey and Murphy spoke to Noisey about the video and bluesy, brass-driven track. “When I’m writing a song, I visualize the entire scene,” the musician said. “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.”
“The song ‘The Wheel’ has the journey to Kosovo at its center,” added Murphy. “Who is to say what else has influenced and informed its creation? The sight of a revolving fairground wheel in Fushe Kosove/Kosovo Polje near the capital Pristina is the concrete reference point for the title. I can tell you its date – 4th August 2011 – from the piece of footage I made as we walked up the street to our parked car near the train station. It was a passing observation of a commonplace image, one of many that day. While Polly took notes I might have been more interested in something else happening across the street and not bothered to shoot or even have seen it. That day we were gathering material in a blind, optimistic endeavor; characteristic of the way we tend to work together. We had no idea if any of it would ever be seen, heard or would make sense.”
The Hope Six Demolition Project, out April 15th, was inspired by Harvey and Murphy’s visits to Kosovo, Afghanistan and Washington D.C. Harvey recently teased the new LP with video previews of two tracks, “The Wheel” and opener “The Community of Hope.”