Everyone loves a good surprise, and surprises don’t get much better than in the form of a new PJ Harvey song. What’s not a surprise however, is just how brilliant the new release is.
“Guilty” arrives off the back of PJ Harvey’s latest LP, “The Hope Six Demolition Project”, released only 3 months ago. Recorded at the same time as the album, during PJ Harvey’s month-long ‘Recording in Progress’ residency at Somerset House in January of last year, it’s no surprise the song bares the same politically-charged observations heard on the album.
A riveting, almost tribal tom-tom drum beat kicks things off and marches incessantly throughout the song, becoming a wonderfully catchy motif in it’s own right, echoing over PJ’s hollering of ‘What’s he doing with that stick?/Which one is guilty?’ in the equally as arresting chorus. PJ Harvey tackles the topic of war by condemning world leaders on their choice to make such hasty decisions when innocent lives are at stake and how they ignore the disapproval of millions of others, lamenting the western world’s methods of war: ‘Drones that come/ Come in the thousands/ But nobody asked us/ If we wanted them.’ A rebuke of such poignancy, especially in the global climate of the world today.
“Guilty” is a striking gem that will resonate with so many sharing the same feeling of despair and hopelessness in the wake of events continuously happening all around us today. The cowardly politicians are guilty of getting blood on their hands, and if PJ Harvey is guilty of any crime, it’s only one tiny thing: not including this brilliant song on “The Hope Six Demolition Project”.