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Inside the Hidden Heart of PJ Harvey (and John Parish)

Nick Hasted, Independent, The, 27 March 2009

POLLY JEAN HARVEY and John Parish are sitting across from each other in a quiet hotel with the comfort of 20 years' acquaintance. Harvey, of course, is the star, the woman whose Mercury-winning album Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea (2000) isn't even a career highlight. Her debut Dry (1992) marked her territory with roaring blues songs such as 'Sheela-Na-Gig', referencing Gaelic female church gargoyles with stretched-apart vaginas and mad grins. This wasn't going to be a ride for faint hearts. Harvey's peers over eight cussedly unpredictable albums have been the likes of her friend Thom Yorke, and Björk: musicians who have kept large, loyal audiences as they pilot pop careers into the avant-garde wilds.

Total word count of piece: 1469