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PJ Harvey

Martin Aston, Puncture, 1992

WITHOUT DISCOUNTING Sinead O'Connor, we've become accustomed to looking toward North America to feel the cutting-edge of female singer-songwriters – the tense psychoanalysis of Throwing Muses' Kristen Hersh, the twisted neo-traditionalism of Mary Margaret O'Hara, the folk-art weave of Jane Siberry, the newly lauded bedsitter balladry of Tori Amos. Polly Harvey, from the South-Western town of Yeovil, near the supposedly mystically-enhanced Druid temple of Stonehenge, three hours out of London, redefines sharp.

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