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“When you hear PJ Harvey’s Let England Shake you don’t immediately think ‘acoustic album’. But it largely is, albeit with much Flood production genius.
"We know she can rock out on an acoustic - way back on Plants and Rags, or Send His Love to Me and C’mon Billy. On The Desperate Kingdon of Love, from Uh Huh Her, she plays the Spanish guitar, strummed lightly with the thumb. Possibly the most fragile, warm, intimate sound imaginable.
"But this time, somehow, they created an utterly modern and unique sound using some very old-fashioned instruments. [Let England Shake] was recorded in a 19th Century Church in Dorset. I heard it was because she wanted to be able to drive home at the end of each day. But I’m sure the space was a key in capturing the autoharp, which is a difficult acoustic instrument to record. When you strum, the pick clacks against the deadened strings making it very... clicky sounding. It’s rhythmic live but can be quite distracting and harsh on record.
"Here, on The Words That Maketh Murder, and my personal favourite All and Everyone, it sounds truly epic, wild and almost choral yet earthy. Acoustic instruments in all their deliciousness.”