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PJ Harvey Cleans Out Her Closet With Career-Spanning Outtakes Box Set

PJ Harvey will complete her long-running archival project this fall with a box set, B-Sides, Demos and Rarities. As the title suggests, the three-CD or six-LP anthology collects 59 black sheep from the alt-rock firebrand’s career, including several previously unreleased tracks. The box will come out on Nov. 4.

Before the release date, though, Harvey has issued three tracks from the collection as an EP: previously unreleased demos of “Dry” and “Missed,” as well as the bluesy “Somebody’s Down, Somebody’s Name,” the latter of which came out on the flip side of her “Down by the Water” single but has not been released digitally.

Fourteen of the collection’s songs have never been released before. The artwork also features previously unpublished photos by Harvey’s longtime collaborator, Maria Mochnacz. Another one of Harvey’s longtime confidants, John Parish, worked on the mastering of the vinyl edition with engineer Jason Mitchell.

“To have this collection of songs released to the world means a great deal to me,” Harvey said in a statement. “For every album song I have written there have been accompanying brother-sister songs that for many reasons don’t quite have their place in the world at that time, but do find their way eventually, and are no less important for being later. In fact some of these lesser-known works are closer to my heart. Now having all these works collected and released together in their own right feels at last to give them the place in the world they deserve. I hope you enjoy listening to them as much as I do.”

Although “Dry” was the title of Harvey’s debut LP, she didn’t release the song until her second album, Rid of Me. The demo is loose with layers of electric and acoustic guitar as she sings emotively about, uh, sexual frustration. “Missed,” another Rid of Me track, sounds similarly sparse and raw as a demo sans drums than the album version. Both tracks contain the blunt-force brutality of her 4-Track Demos release, which contained the rest of her primordial versions of Rid of Me songs.

“‘Dry’ was one of the first successful songs I wrote,” she said. “I hadn’t written that many, maybe five or six, and would sit down and play them to any friend that would care to listen. I had always collected words and phrases in a notebook, so when my mum bought me an acoustic guitar that a friend of hers was selling, it felt natural to try and sing the words I had saved, and that’s how it began. John Parish had recently given me my first 4-track recording lesson, and this was one of the first recordings I made on my own.”

Earlier this year, in an interview with Rolling Stone about her poetic novel Orlam, Harvey also discussed another one of the tracks on B-Sides, Demos & Rarities, “Nina in Ecstasy,” which came out as a B-side around her Is This Desire? album. “I love that song, too,” she said. “It’s hard to remember where that song came from. It was, ‘I’ve got a feeling.’ I sort of wanted to see the beauty and the fragility within a person under a title which implies something more like a porno movie, if that makes sense. There’s a person there and it’s fragile and it’s beautiful and it’s broken. And again, I think I was looking under the surface; I was looking under the stone.”

B-Sides, Demos & Rarities tracklist:

1. “Dry – Demo” (previously unreleased demo)
2. “Man-Size – Demo” (previously unreleased demo)
3. “Missed – Demo” (previously unreleased demo)
4. “Highway 61 Revisited – Demo” (previously unreleased demo)
5. “Me Jane – Demo” (previously unreleased demo)
6. “Daddy”
7. “Lying In The Sun”
8. “Somebody’s Down, Somebody’s Name”
9. “Darling Be There”
10. “Maniac”
11. “One Time Too Many”
12. “Harder”
13. “Naked Cousin”
14. “Losing Ground”
15. “Who Will Love Me Now”
16. “Why D’ya Go To Cleveland” (previously unreleased)
17. “Instrumental #1”
18. “The Northwood”
19. “The Bay”
20. “Sweeter Than Anything”
21. “Instrumental #3”
22. “The Faster I Breathe The Further I Go” (4 Track Version)
23. “Nina in Ecstasy 2”
24. “Rebecca”
25. “Instrumental #2”
26. “This Wicked Tongue”
27. “Memphis”
28. “30”
29. “66 Promises”
30. “As Close As This”
31. “My Own Private Revolution”
32. “Kick It To The Ground” (4 Track)
33. “The Falling”
34. “The Phone Song”
35. “Bows & Arrows”
36. “Angel”
37. “Stone”
38. “97°”
39. “Dance”
40. “Cat On The Wall – Demo” (previously unreleased demo)
41. “You Come Through – Demo” (previously unreleased demo)
42. “Uh Huh Her – Demo” (previously unreleased demo)
43. “Evol – Demo” (previously unreleased demo)
44. “Wait”
45. “Heaven”
46. “Liverpool Tide”
47. “The Big Guns Called Me Back Again”
48. “The Nightingale”
49. “Shaker Aamer”
50. “Guilty – Demo” (previously unreleased demo)
51. “I’ll Be Waiting – Demo” (previously unreleased demo)
52. “Homo Sappy Blues – Demo” (previously unreleased)
53. “The Age Of The Dollar – Demo” (previously unreleased)
54. “The Camp”
55. “An Acre Of Land”
56. “The Crowded Cell”
57. “The Sandman – Demo”
58. “The Moth – Demo”
59. “Red Right Hand”

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