Rock giant PJ Harvey isn’t much for interviews, but she gave one to The Guardian last month—her first in a decade, the outlet noted—to discuss Orlam, her book-length narrative poem published by Picador Poetry in late April. It went mostly unnoticed at the time, but in that interview, Harvey “lets slip that she has a new album coming out next year,” as Paste contributor Zach Schonfeld pointed out on Twitter Monday morning.
Harvey reveals very little about the album (she’s “not supposed to be talking about it,” The Guardian notes), her 10th and first since 2016’s The Hope Six Demolition Project, except to say, “I’m really pleased with it—and I’m my own harshest critic.”
The rest of the interview is, of course, focused on Orlam, though there are a handful of Harvey quotes that may prove insightful in regards to her new record. Asked about the war in Ukraine, Harvey says, “It is terribly upsetting on a daily basis,” “adding that she is sure a need to express her ‘sadness, anger and frustration’ will come out in whatever work she does next.”
“I never think of performance as something I have to be brave about. I’ve always felt driven to do it,” she continues. “I have to walk this path. It might sound almost mystical but I see it as a calling.”
At the end of the interview, Harvey says of her writing, “It can be hard to know when a poem is finished. But once finished, it’s finished—it’s of its time and place. And I will have the desire—always—to move forward and to do something else.”
We’ll keep you posted on Harvey’s new album as further details come to light. In the meantime, you can read the complete Harvey interview via The Guardian, revisit our ranking of Harvey’s discography and learn more about Orlam.