2021 reissue, 12″ LP, Island/Universal Music Group. 45rpm.
PJ Harvey’s ongoing vinyl reissue series has finally arrived at 2007’s White Chalk, an album that at the time was thought of as something of a curveball from the West Country singer-songwriter. Unlike its predecessors, which were celebrated for their raw, fuzzy, stripped-back alt-rock sound, White Chalk emerged after Harvey decided to write an album of “piano songs” – despite having no experience playing the instrument herself. With Flood and John Parish handling production duties, the set’s tracks were generally lighter and breezier sonically, with a little more polish and much more restricted use of electric guitar. Harvey’s lyrics are as distinctive as ever, though, offering a clear contrast to the pastoral and oddly traditional feel of the music. – Juno