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3rd February 2016

Tracks of the Week

This week’s selection includes PJ Harvey’s triumphant return to the airwaves

PJ Harvey – ‘The Wheel’ from The Hope Six Demolition Project

Island Records

This new single from PJ Harvey’s impending album The Hope Six Demolition Project has an insistent energy not unlike that that flickered at the heart of 2000’s Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea, albeit an energy tinged with the serious melancholy of its subject. Hands clap, drums hum, saxophones groan and guitars grind under Harvey and her band’s ceremonial chant, lamenting the fates of war-pinned children disenfranchised, disappeared, or worse, as restless and angry as a diaspora. England having been shook, it seems Harvey’s war on war has escalated to a new ferocity. Ceasefire pending.

Fat White Family – ‘Satisfied’ from Songs for our Mothers

Without Consent Records

“I’m so easily satisfiiiieeed…” croon Fat White Family, with all the charm of Bing Crosby 12 large scotches deep, and so, it seems, am I. ‘Satisfied’ is little more than two slimy grooves that have been sewn into each other and left to soak in as much distortive filth as could be coaxed from the cistern, before being sent bouncing away astride a comically Casio drumbeat into druggy oblivion. It’s so T. Rex that I’m tempted to accuse FWF of exhuming Marc Bolan and reanimating him back into some Frankensteinian action, but T. Rex were never this filthy.

Savages – ‘Adore’ from Adore Life

Matador Records

The underpinning question of ‘Adore’ is a disarmingly simple one: “Is it human to adore life?”. Well, I confess I’ve never really thought about it, but Savages have made up their minds, and mine too. Singer Jehnny Beth interrogates her own romantic culpability, tip-toeing between doubt and defiance as she catalogues the overspills of her lust; “If only I didn’t want the world / I wouldn’t make you feel so sad” she promises at the song’s opening, only to end it unapologetically, as if to undercut her transgressions, with “D’you adore life? / I adore life”. Well, do you?

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