PJ Harvey has mercifully announced that the wait for her ninth studio album will soon be over. Her first album since 2011’s Mercury Prize-winning Let England Shake, the as-yet-unnamed release will be upon us in mid-2016.
The album was recorded throughout her month-long residency in an observable studio at Somerset House in London. That’s right; for a full month, Polly Jean recorded inside what was essentially a “box”, with one-way glazing so that visitors could peer inside (for 50 minutes at a time) to observe the process. Of the project, Harvey said, “I want ‘Recording in Progress’ to operate as if we’re an exhibition in a gallery. I hope visitors will be able to experience the flow and energy of the recording process.”
The release comes with a short film, presumably detailing the atmosphere and themes of the album. Inspired by a journey through Serbia, Afghanistan and Washington DC. The film was directed by Seamus Murphy, who she also worked with on her recent poetry book The Hollow of the Hand. At the book’s launch event she debuted ten new tracks, but it’s unclear whether these will feature on the album.
The video details her international journey and its results. Watch, listen, and get excited.