In her first interview in ten years, the musician, poet and artist speaks on her new book Orlam – and confirms she’s working on new music.
In February, PJ Harvey shared a photo of herself in a studio, sparking rumours that she’s working on new music. In a new interview with The Observer, she reveals she’s been working on her next album and it’s set to arrive in 2023. “I’m really pleased with it – and I’m my own harshest critic,” she said. The new LP will be her first solo full-length since 2016’s The Hope Six Demolition Project.
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Elsewhere in the interview, Harvey talks about her new poetry book Orlam, which is out this Thursday (28 April). Inspired by her formative experiences in the Dorset countryside, she explained: “I needed to bring back the scale of my writing to something more interior. With Let England Shake, I’d been looking outwardly to explore what was happening in the world. On an emotional level, I felt this great need to rest and nourish myself.”
She also emphasised the importance of expressing herself through her artistic output: “I think of myself as an introverted person. A lot of artists are like this. If you’re not very good at expressing yourself, you need to find another way of doing it. My way has been through song, drawing and – now – poetry.”
The artist also spoke about the war in Ukraine. “I’m frightened by the human capacity for cruelty,” she said. “I think: how can that possibly be happening? And when you can’t understand something, it’s most frightening.” She also added that her “sadness, anger and frustration” will be channelled into whatever project she works on next.