In the aptly titled, Tori Amos-style piano ballad “When Under Ether,” PJ Harvey’s protagonist is, well, “under ether,” which causes the ceiling to move like “a conveyer belt” and her mind to race. Despite the wasted head-spinning, she has good company, a woman (nurse?) who holds her hand throughout the mysterious track, and both seem genuinely happy, relieved, blessed even by the “human kindness” (an abortion song, perhaps?). Pretty tune … and a wonderfully strange first single from Harvey’s forthcoming LP White Chalk. The recorded version debuted yesterday on BBC 6 Radio (grab it at Deaf Indie Elephants), but how’s about this echoey live take performed at the
Copenhagen Opera six months ago?
White Chalk is out 9/24 on Island.