by Mar de Miguel
Polly Jean Harvey (born 9 October 1969) is an English musician and singer-songwriter. She was raised in Corscombe, Dorset and Yeovil, Somerset. Her parents were both fans of American blues music. Their record collection exposed Harvey not only to the blues but also to Captain Beefheart, which would both become major influences on Harvey’s own musical style.
Harvey is primarily a vocalist and guitarist, but is also proficient with a wide range of instruments including piano, organ, bass, saxophone, and autoharp. She began her professional career in the early 1990s by forming a band she named PJ Harvey. She recorded her first two albums with this trio, and when they broke up she continued as a solo artist. Since 1995 she has recorded her albums with various musicians including John Parish, Rob Ellis, Mick Harvey, and Eric Drew Feldman. She has also worked extensively with the producer Flood.
Musically, Harvey dislikes repeating herself, resulting in albums that can sound different from one to the next. She has experimented with such diverse musical styles as rock, pop, electronica, and folk. She is also known for changing her appearance from album to album by altering her mode of dress or hairstyle. Each look is then incorporated into the album's artwork, music videos, and live performances. She often works closely with friend and photographer Maria Mochnacz in developing the visual style of each album.
Studio albums (Complete list)
- Dry (1992)
- Rid of Me (1993)
- To Bring You My Love (1995)
- Is This Desire? (1998)
- Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea (2000)
- Uh Huh Her (2004)
- White Chalk (2007)
- Let England Shake (2011)
- 4-Track Demos (1993)
- The Peel Sessions 1991–2004 (2006)
- Dance Hall at Louse Point (with John Parish) (1996)
- A Woman a Man Walked By (with John Parish) (2009)
Let England Shake - Video album
|Written on the Forehead|
PJ Harvey, Björk & Tori Amos
- NME magazine covers
PJ Harvey was on NME magazine cover only 4 times in her whole career, a small number if we take into account her great work. Click to enlarge
- Man-Size (Live, 1992)
- Rock de Luxe
Nick Cave with P.J. Harvey on the cover of Rock de Lux (issue #133, September 1996, Spain).
- John Peel Sessions