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PJ Harvey

 

PJ Harvey is an abbreviation of singer-songwriter Polly Jean Harvey (b. 9 Oct 1969 in Yeovil and raised in nearby Corscombe, Dorset, England) and a name of two acts. First was a Harvey-led trio, formed in 1991 with Rob Ellis (drums) and Steve Vaughan (bass), which débuted with Dry (Mar 1992). Overlapping with the trio, Harvey reused the name for solo work, inaugurated by 4-Track Demos (Oct 1993). The trio broke up in 1995 and Harvey continued solo - her latest album is Let England Shake (Feb 2011).

The trio’s material on Dry and Rid of Me was praised by critics for its raw, guitar-driven sound and sharp-witted, melancholic lyrics. After the trio broke up, in 1995, Harvey released To Bring You My Love, a blues-heavy album that expanded the range of her sound through the incorporation of strings, organs, and electronic sound effects. Her stage show became more theatrical, with Harvey performing in ballgowns, pink catsuits, wigs and garish, vampish make-up. Never one to rest, she followed this album with the softer, more experimental Is This Desire?, released in 1998, and then Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea, released in 2000, which combined her more guitar-driven work with cleaner, lusher arrangements. Stories won her the 2001 Mercury Prize.

In 2004 she released Uh Huh Her, a return to her earlier, rawer sound. Uh Huh Her was met with a somewhat mixed response; while some critics welcomed Harvey’s re-exploration of her previous styles, others felt that the album was something of a rehash.

Harvey began her career in 1988 when she joined local band Automatic Dlamini as a vocalist, guitarist, and saxophone player. The band's frontman, John Parish, would become her long-term collaborator. In 1991, she formed an eponymous trio and subsequently began her professional career. The trio released two studio albums, Dry (1992) and Rid of Me (1993) before disbanding, after which Harvey continued as a solo artist. Since 1995, she has released a further six studio albums with collaborations from various musicians including John Parish, former bandmate Rob Ellis, Mick Harvey, and Eric Drew Feldman and has also worked extensively with record producer Flood.

Among the accolades she has received are the 2001 and 2011 Mercury Prize for Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea (2000) and Let England Shake (2011) respectively—the only artist to have been awarded the prize twice—eight BRIT Award nominations, six Grammy Award nominations and two further Mercury Prize nominations. Rolling Stone awarded her 1992's Best New Artist and Best Singer Songwriter and 1995's Artist of the Year, and listed Rid of Me, To Bring You My Love (1995) and Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea on its 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list. In 2011, she was awarded for Outstanding Contribution To Music at the NME Awards. In June 2013, she was awarded an MBE for services to music.


Polly Jean Harvey (born 9 October 1969) is an English musician and songwriter.
Among the accolades she has received have been the 2001 Mercury Music Prize, seven BRIT Award nominations, five Grammy Award nominations and two further Mercury Music Prize nominations.
Rolling Stone named her 1992's Best New Artist and Best Singer Songwriter and 1995's Artist of the Year, and placed two of her albums on its 500 Greatest Albums of All Time
Outside her better-known musical career, Harvey appeared as Magdalena, a modern-day character based on Mary Magdalene in Hal Hartley's 1998 film The Book of Life, and had a cameo as a singing Bunny Girl in the Sarah Miles-directed short A Bunny Girl's Tale.

 

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