Last week, I wrote about apocalyptic themes and imagery in contemporary music. In closing out that discussion (at least for now), I use PJ Harvey's February LP, Let England Shake*, as a jumping off point to think about about war as apocalypse. In the album, we encounter a crumbling empire beset by militarism.
Here is the music video for "This Glorious Land" (lyrics here). It's about declining British empire:
PJ Harvey is no stranger to this blog. She has consistently distanced herself from feminism as such, but our love for her is inescapable. Her music is about independence—from marriage ("The Pocket knife,"), from judgement ("Who the Fuck?")—and her vision for her autonomous career has never faltered in 20 years of music-making. Now she's got a new album, Let England Shake, coming out February 15th, and a short film to be released with EVERY SONG on the album! If you, like me, believe there is no such thing as too much Polly Jean, this is the B-sides for you.
It's Halloween, and even though we all know that the holiday is mainly about a.) dressing up in lingerie and some kind of animal ears and b.) candy, it's important not to lose sight of the fact that it's also an excuse to bust out some truly chilling tunes -- songs that aren't Halloween-themed so much as they are sincerely creepy. My picks are mostly classic-rock selections that I heard for the first time as a kid and have since had visceral, chilling reactions to. Share your own spooky playlists in the comments!