Never one to shrink from telling it like it is, Polly Jean Harvey’s second single from her forthcoming new disc paints a grim portrait of Washington, DC… and pissed a few people off in the process. In a good way.
The Hope Six Demolition Project is PJ Harvey’s 11th studio album, and like 2011’s Mercury Prize winner Let England Shake, it’s politically charged. The album was written on her travels to Kosovo, Afghanistan and DC between 2011 and 2014, and was recorded at Somerset House in London in open sessions to the public. Long time collaborator John Parish and Flood recorded and produced the disc, due here in 2 weeks.
The album’s title and The Community of Hope are direct references to HOPE IV projects here in the US, which was designed to tear down crime ridden public housing and build new places to provide better housing, but caused the residents to not be able to afford to continue living in the same neighborhood. Council members of DC’s Ward 7 are decrying the song and the video, indicating it’s painting a negative image of the area. Or maybe they are mad because she’s calling a spade a spade.
She should come to Chicago and write some scathing observations about things here. Just saying.
The single itself is short and incessantly catchy, down to the ending refrain “They’re going to put a Walmart here.” And I love Polly Jean to death, she’s a brilliant artist. My anticipation for this album is palpable. Definitely music you should be loving, and listening to.