To commence Hometown Week I bring you my homegirl, Dorset-born PJ Harvey with the title track of what is undoubtedly her greatest and most acclaimed work to date, Let England Shake. I find this song eerily nostalgic and wintery, with an opening sequence that conjures up thoughts of ghostly empty fairgrounds. The 2011 album as a whole predominantly tells cleverly understated war stories from English history. I am admittedly a very proud member of my nation (more than once proclaiming: “I’m not British; I am English!”) and for someone very local to me who was relatively low-key for most of her career to have produced a globally critically acclaimed album to such a baffling degree, one whose theme is our homeland, makes me love these songs even more.
By ‘critically acclaimed’ I mean Let England Shake won pretty much everything on its release, including the 2011 Mercury Prize and was even given a 10/10 rating by the NME. I absolutely, thoroughly recommend indulging in the full album, if experimental folk/rock is your kind of thing. It really is a masterpiece.