In her newest video for “The Wheel,” PJ Harvey visits the highly disputed territory of Kosovo.
Coming from The Hope Six Demolition Project, which is due out in April, the new album is inspired by her travels between Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Washington, D.C. over the last four years. Harvey explained the songwriting process via Noisey:
When I’m writing a song I visualize the entire scene. I can see the colors, I can tell the time of day, I can sense the mood, I can see the light changing, the shadows moving, everything in that picture. Gathering information from secondary sources felt too far removed for what I was trying to write about. I wanted to smell the air, feel the soil and meet the people of the countries I was fascinated with.
The video was directed by Seamus Murphy, who explained the troubles of the area, and how the surrounding conflict etched into the video for “The Wheel”:
The song ‘The Wheel’ has the journey to Kosovo at its center. Who is to say what else has influenced and informed its creation? The sight of a revolving fairground wheel in Fushe Kosove/Kosovo Polje near the capital Pristina is the concrete reference point for the title. … Was that sight alone the inspiration for the song? Without being told the stories of people who had suffered during the war, without visiting villages abandoned through ethnic cleansing and cycles of vengeance, without experiencing the different perceptions of people with shared histories, could the song have been written?
Check it out in the player below.