PJ Harvey – “The Orange Monkey” TRACK REVIEW

The Orange Monkey Track Card PJ Harvey

Following the release of “The Community of Hope”, PJ Harvey dropped “The Orange Monkey”, the third and final preview of what’s in store on her latest The Hope Six Demolition Project, which is officially released tomorrow. Harvey’s latest album is said to be her most politically-charged yet, having visited destinations that were foreign to her and jotting down anything she noticed, focusing on historical and modern disorder and the errors of societies, barring cultural divisions while still accenting their differences. “The Community of Hope”, an obvious jab at Washington, D.C., is much more clearly “political” than “The Orange Monkey”, whose lyricism feels comparatively self-aware in regards to being a piece of music on a world-tour album.

Harvey sings about her desire to understand that which she’s yet to figure out, telling the story of how she “took a plane to a foreign land” and wrote down what she found. “The Orange Monkey” doesn’t specify its location in the same way “The Community of Hope” does, and its subject matter is nowhere near as harrowing as those found on “The Wheel”. Instead, this new track is an instrumental exploration; an amalgamation of the musical influences Harvey picked up on with her public recording project. The drums are tribalistic, ranging from booming orchestral hits to acoustic clapping, and the guitar work is linearly electronic, creating a soft buzz that underlies the surging collection of music. What begins as a deep, choral performance shows Harvey slowly emerging above it all, taking over the chanted chorus before delivering soft, “Feel You“-induced sighs. “The Orange Monkey” is nestled in the center of the track listing for The Hope Six Demolition Project, which seems odd considering it feels like a conclusion to the ideas presented with exploring the world and noting its unjust objectively. Regardless, this track is another in a long line of deftly told stories as presented by PJ Harvey, adding to the ever growing hype and promise of her ninth studio release.

– Zach W.