PJ Harvey Plans First North American Tour in Seven Years

PJ Harvey. - Credit: Steve Gullick*

PJ Harvey. – Credit: Steve Gullick*

PJ Harvey will embark on her first North American tour in nearly a decade this fall in support of her latest album, last year’s I Inside the Old Year Dying. Tickets go on sale on Friday.

In addition to the tour announcement, the singer is also releasing a video for the LP’s “Seem an I.” The clip opens with scenes of an ominous barn, a tree with a cutting of black hair hanging from it, and an open meadow. Then actress Ruth Wilson (The Affair, Luther) comes speeding through the shot, and she runs and runs. The clip, which director Colm Bairéad filmed at Kennel Farm outside Salisbury, England (think Stonehenge), also features Blair Witch–type closeups of an armoire with the words “love me tender” scratched into the wood. The mystery of it plays into Harvey’s poetry book, Orlam, whose verses provided the lyrics for “Seem an I” and the rest of the album.

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“Ruth and I became friends after working together on Clio Barnard’s film Dark River,” Harvey said in a statement. “I have always greatly admired Ruth’s work as an actor, so I had long harbored a dream that we might work together again in some way. When the opportunity to work with Colm Bairéad came up, I knew him to be a director Ruth thought highly of, as I did, so it felt right to ask her if she would star in the film. I find the resulting short film beautiful and moving for having Ruth’s magical presence, and Colm’s unique vision.”

“I have always been a huge fan of PJ, so it was a great privilege to work alongside Colm and Polly to bring ‘Seem an I’ to visual life in this mysterious and hypnotic short film,” Wilson said. “There is no better way to spend a day in the magical world of PJ Harvey.”

For the tour, Harvey collaborated with British theater director Ian Rickson, as well as set, lighting, and fashion designers. Her band for the tour includes John Parish, Jean-Marc Butty, Giovanni Ferrario, and James Johnston.

Parish and Johnston performed with Harvey last year at a special event in Brooklyn where Harvey recited poetry, participated in a Q&A, and played five songs from I Inside the Old Year Dying. “Although she’d said earlier in the evening that one of her goals with the album was to avoid singing like herself … her voice, which transitions from alto to soprano ranges with grace on ‘Seem an I,’ couldn’t sound like anyone else’s,” Rolling Stone wrote in a review. “She made her voice sound thin on the opening lyrics, ‘Starling swarms will soon be lorn,’ and deep and Kingly as she channeled Elvis with the ‘Love me tender’ refrain.” She also performed some of those songs as part of NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert around the same time.

PJ Harvey tour dates:

Sept. 11 – Washington, DC @ The Anthem
Sept. 13 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Met
Sept. 15 – New York, NY @ Terminal 5
Sept. 16 – New York, NY @ Terminal 5
Sept. 18 – Boston, MA @ MGM Music Hall Fenway
Sept. 21 – Laval, QC @ Place Bell
Sept. 25 – Toronto, ON @ History
Sept. 26 – Toronto, ON @ History
Sept. 28 – Detroit, MI @ Masonic Cathedral Theatre
Sept. 30 – Chicago, IL @ The Salt Shed
Oct. 2 – Minneapolis, MN @ Palace Theatre
Oct. 6 – Seattle,WA @ The Paramount Theatre
Oct. 7 – Portland, OR @ Theater of the Clouds
Oct. 10 – San Francisco, CA @ Masonic
Oct. 11 – San Francisco, CA @ Masonic
Oct. 14 – Los Angeles, CA @ Greek Theatre

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