PJ Harvey is readying the release of her new album, The Hope Six Demolition Project, which is due out April 15. So far, the "Rid Of Me" singer has shared a few singles from the forthcoming release: "The Wheel," "The Community of Hope," and now "The Orange Monkey."
The UK rocker's latest song was unveiled on Matt Wilkinson's Beats 1 show for Apple Music.
Give it a listen here.
Harvey wrote the album -- as well as her recently-published book of poetry, The Hollow of the Hand -- while traveling to Kosovo, Afghanistan and Washington, DC with filmmaker Seamus Murphy over the course of four years. "The Orange Monkey" is the result of one such visit to Washington, as is evident with lyrics like "I took a plane to foreign land/ And said I'll write down what I find."
So is "The Community of Hope," which documents her visit to Ward 7, a neighborhood near the Washington National Cemetery that is consistently one of Washington DC's poorest, most underdeveloped districts. Despite the uplifting-sounding title, the song paints a grim picture of the neighborhood and its governance. Listen to it and watch its video, below.
When "The Community of Hope" dropped, it stirred up some especially critical responses from local politicians. Former mayor and current Ward 7 city council candidate Vince Gray said of the song "I will not dignify this inane composition with a response" and his campaign treasurer said "PJ Harvey is to music what Piers Morgan is to cable news," DCist reports.
Upon announcing the forthcoming album's completion earlier this year, Harvey explained the importance of these travels as a part of her creative process: "When I'm writing a song I visualize the entire scene," she said in a press release.
She added: "I can see the colors, I can tell the time of day, I can sense the mood, I can see the light changing, the shadows moving, everything in that picture. Gathering information from secondary sources felt too far removed for what I was trying to write about. I wanted to smell the air, feel the soil and meet the people of the countries I was fascinated with," The Fader reports.