PJ Harvey has today been criticised for the lyrics and subject matter of her new track ‘The Community of Hope’ by U.S Politicians and Ward 7, Washington council candidates, it has emerged this evening (March 15).
Harvey returned with new song ‘The Community of Hope’ ahead of the release of her new studio album, ‘The Hope Six Demolition Project’ and is the follow up to 2011’s ‘Let England Shake’.
Now, it seems that some politicians in the U.S have taken offence to the track, which was written about Ward 7, an under-developed and economically depressed area of Washington D.C and looked upon in an ‘unfavourable’ light (“Now this is just drug town, just zombies / But that’s just life.”). She refers to the ward’s central Benning Road as “the well-known pathway of death.”
As DCist writes, former mayor Vince Gray said: “I will not dignify this inane composition with a response” while his campaign treasurer added: “PJ Harvey is to music what Piers Morgan is to cable news.”
Listen to the track below
Washington D.C Councilwoman Yvette Alexander tweeted:
@DCist There were several references from both 7 & 8. I respect all artist forms of expression, but this song does not reflect Ward 7!
— Yvette M Alexander (@CMYMA) March 15, 2016
Grant Thompson, a former Congressional staffer also running for Ward 7’s council seat, said Harvey “needs to see more of the city. He then went on to say “One of the promises I’m making is that we’re going to bring more restaurants to Ward 7. We’re the last frontier in terms of development. We have one grocery store in the entire ward. I attribute that to poor leadership.”
As previously reported, Harvey’s ‘The Hope Six Demolition Project’ will be released on April 15. She will also appear at festivals including Glastonbury and Field Day this summer.
The news of Harvey’s ninth studio record was announced in December alongside a clip of the musician performing a short preview of one heavy-riff based song.
‘The Hope Six Demolition Project’ will be available on vinyl, CD and as a digital download. The full track-listing is:
‘The Community of Hope’
‘The Ministry of Defence’
‘A Line in the Sand’
‘Chain of Keys’
‘Near the Memorials to Vietnam and Lincoln’
‘The Orange Monkey’
‘The Ministry of Social Affairs’
The album was recorded at London’s Somerset House in 2015 during open recording sessions which the public could attend.
Harvey and Murphy also staged a multimedia show in London in October where ten new songs were performed alongside poems, photos and short films from Murphy.