PJ Harvey explains ‘White Chalk”s classical inspiration

Singer also reveals Captain Beefheart collaboration

PJ Harvey has revealed that her new album ‘White Chalk’ has been inspired by a host of classical artists.

The singer said that while writing her latest record, she listened to the likes of Beethoven, Bach, Handel, Arvo Part and Gorecki after Nick Cave’s guitarist Mick Harvey sent her a host of compilation tapes.

“I’ve never used this voice before,” she said. “I call it my ‘church voice’, because it’s the one I would use when I went to church with my gran once a year to sing Christmas carols.”

Prior to recording the album, the singer also revealed that she spent the best part of a year in LA playing bass in a group run by Morris Tepper, formerly a member of the final incarnation of Captain Beefheart’s Magic Band.

“It was fantastic. Lifting gear around, driving vans to venues, rehearsing and practising new songs. It really made me think about tuning in to other people, and I’m not used to doing that,” she told The Times.

According to Harvey, ‘White Chalk’ took five months to record, in the Kilburn home studio of U2 and The Killers‘ producer Flood.

The singer will release her first album since 2004’s ‘Uh Huh Her’ tomorrow (September 24) before performing at London‘s Royal Festival Hall on September 29.