PJ Harvey announced her eighth album about a week ago, Let England Shake. It was recorded inside a church in Dorset, England with assistance from producer Flood and musicians Mick Harvey and John Parish. (Parish collaborated with Harvey on 2009’s A Woman A Man Walked By.) She debuted the title track back in April on the BBC, but “Written On The Forehead” is the first proper taste from the album. There’s a soupy mix of voice samples, reverb, and an echoing tambourine that sounds like a bag of coins being dropped (perfect for the opening line about throwing dinars at bellydancers). But, despite the title of the album and the evidence in this song, Harvey told the BBC her goal isn’t to get political as much as to simply observe:
I think a lot of my work has often been about the interior, the emotional, what happens inside oneself. This time I’ve just been looking out, so it’s not only to do with taking a look at England, but taking a look at the world and what’s happening in the current day world affairs. But always trying to come from the human point of view because I don’t feel qualified to sing from a political standpoint.
Listen to “Written On The Forehead” at Soundcloud.
Let England Shake is out 2/14 via Vagrant.