2021, 12″ LP, Island/Universal Music Group.
Fans of Polly Jean Harvey have been spoiled of late, with the West Country singer-songwriter not only offering up remastered and expanded editions of many of her solo albums, but also partner albums of previously unheard demo recordings. The latest set to get this treatment is 2000’s Mercury Music Prize-winning Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea, an album that many critics believe is the lauded artist’s greatest single work. This ‘demo’ version is as stripped back and impactful as you’d expect, with Harvey, accompanied by little more than an acoustic or electric guitar, delivering pleasingly sparse, stripped-back versions of now-familiar songs. Presented in ‘in progress’ form like this, the quality of Harvey’s songs – and her lyrics in particular – really shines through. – Juno