Sunday, March 10, 2024

PJ Harvey Releases Video For ‘Seem An I’ In An Attempt To Visualise Her Album's Ominous Chic

Since the release of PJ Harvey’s tenth studio album in June of last year, I have been staggered by the depths of its musical imagery. Not only are the twelve tracks a testament to her never-ending brilliance, but the hypnotic mood she manages to curate will, in time, retain the album's exceptional musical content with an artistic nuance.

It would be a difficult task for any creative to reimagine any of PJ Harvey’s music into video form, but what Irish director and screenwriter Colm Bairead has managed to achieve with his video for the track ‘Seem An I’ is wonderful in its ominous ambiguity.

The video starring ‘Luther’ and  ‘His Dark Materials’ star Ruth Wilson immediately grabs our attention; the abrasive cutaways and typically dull setting perfectly encapsulate the moody tone of the track itself, involving the audience immediately in the depths of a could-be horror.

The video continues across the grounds of Kennel Farm in Salford at a pace that commands our attention. Whether it’s the terrified, uncontrolled running of the lead character or her pained expression, we are drawn in by the video's lack of direct information. As the track marches on alongside mumbling vocal messages, “of not-friends running nowhere”/ of “vog a-veiling elsewhere”  the video manages to contrast the relaxed musical content with an atmosphere fused with panic. The video culminates in a space away from what we can dare to imagine, in an awesome darkness that forces us to imagine what is to come next. The combination of Ruth Wilson’s formidable performance and Colm Bairead’s brilliant direction leaves us with a colourful representation of PJ Harvey's unique musical style that does not attempt to reimagine her moody, ominous chic. Music videos can often be reductive of the song's raw beauty, but in this example, the video format only seems to highlight its artistry.

In April 2023, PJ Harvey signed with Partisan Records to release her tenth studio album, ‘I Inside The Old Year Dying’, and this video is another great example of Partisan’s innate ability to creatively enhance their artists discographies. Alongside the new video for IDLES track ‘GRACE’, the video for ‘Seem An I’ is a shining illustration of the way in which video forms can amplify the artistic direction of an album even after their release. Pj Harvey has recently announced her first North American tour  in tangent with the release of this video, and I can quite confidently assure you that I will continue to listen to this beautiful song and the rest of the album for the remainder of 2024.


Ewan Bourne


Image: Steve Gullick

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comment Here;