Mon 11 Apr 2016 to Sun 17 Apr 2016

by PJ Harvey

PJ Harvey The Hope Six Demolition Project (PBS feature record)
The iconic Polly Jean Harvey returns with her ninth outing – in many ways a continuation along the trajectory of 2011’s Mercury prize-winning Let England Shake, which saw her continue the move away from her rock roots to something approximating traditional UK folk music. Guitars – largely abandoned for the autoharp on Let England Shake and piano compositions of 2007’s White Chalk – make a welcome return on The Hope Six Demolition Project, though not with the urgency of Harvey’s breakthrough releases of the early 90s.

There’s a lyrical continuity on this album too. Harvey tackles big-picture issues of conflict and inequality over the more personal, introspective ground covered in her early career. Recorded as a kind of performance art piece (anyone remember Regurgitator’s Band in a Bubble?) over a month in 2015 with long-time collaborator John Parish and producer Flood, The Hope Six Demolition Project should go some way to bringing fans alienated by her recent departures back into the fold, while still indulging her evolution and reinvention as an artist.

Summer Flake Hello Friends (Featured on The Breakfast Spread)
The second full length record from Adelaide's Summer Flake is a lush affair. Stephanie Crase's vocals swell and ebb as she winds her way through a spacious and introspective record. There's plenty of dreamy, late-summer guitar work here but it's grounded by a subtle rhythm section. A shipping container of reverb is nicely balanced with plenty of bite.

Crase exercises restraint and doesn't hit full wig out territory here - her incredible guitar playing remains understated with a focus on arrangements that allow the songwriting to shine. These songs will sound brilliant live - make sure you tune into Mixing Up The Medicine on Tuesday April 12 for a live set in Studio 5.

By Nick – The Breakfast Spread

This week's Top 10:

PJ Harvey - The Hope Six Demolition Project
Summer Flake - Hello Friends
Habits - Ugly Cry EP
Black Milk and Nat Turner - The Rebellion Sessions
Chronixx and Federation Sound - Roots and Chalice
Nicklas Sørensen - Solo
The Sugarcanes - Self-titled
All India Radio - The Slow Light
Gregor - Thoughts and Faults
Chris Pureka - Back in the Ring