P J Harvey bares her soul with new release of an album of demos from her first release, Dry – here’s our message to her.
It may seem like an odd thing to do. To release a series of demos of tracks from your first album, which is 28 years old.
To bare your soul (and, to add to that, a topless shot of you on the album cover). So, why do it? We can only guess.
But we like it. These stripped down versions give an idea of a creative process – the bones that will, in time, form a body of work that you’re prepared to let the world see and hear.
It’s quite a brave decision in a way. You’re naked both literally and metaphorically. We can hear the way these songs came together, the way in which they weren’t perfect as demos, which of course, is to state the bleeding obvious.
But we like the way in which you’ve given us an insight into your creative process. That’s fascinating. And it keeps us coming back – there’s an energy about these versions. They don’t need polish. They have your vision, your style, your … well, your thing.
The distortion on Victory, for example. The manner in which Happy and Bleeding seems to have a couple of false starts and rough edges. But, we like rough edges.
And, then there’s Sheela-Na-Gig, one of your best known and loved songs. It’s all fuzzy, sounds like it’s been recorded in a shower and it’s just perfect for all that. Imagine taking your best tune and trashing it as a bathroom demo. That’s raw.
And, that’s where this album succeeds. Don’t think that just because you have a copy of the original, then you don’t need this one. You do.