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As a female songwriter addressing gender politics in the early ’90s, Polly Harvey drew comparisons to the Riot Grrrl movement. If this 1992 debut suggests any of her contemporaries though, it’s Nirvana with its bruising riffs, pop hooks and vocals that mine an impassioned yet vulnerable soul. Otherwise, this concoction of sensuality and spikiness seeded into blues, folk and post-punk is remarkably singular. “Dress and “Sheela-Na-Gig” are exhilarating in melody and power, while “Plants and Rags” proves that even ballads can have thrillingly sharp edges.


Born: 09 October 1969 in Yeovil, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

During the alternative rock explosion, several female singer/songwriters rose to prominence, but few have proved as distinctive or as widely praised as Polly Jean Harvey. Over the course of her career, Harvey established herself as one of the most individual and influential songwriters of her era, exploring themes of sex, love, and religion with unnerving honesty, dark humor, and a twisted theatricality. At the outset, she led the trio PJ Harvey, which delivered her stark songs with bruisingly powerful,...
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