“PJ Harvey is to music what Piers Morgan is to cable news,” says one area politician.
PJ Harvey’s upcoming album The Hope Six Demolition Project takes its inspiration from many different cities and countries the singer has visited over the last few years. Her most recent single, ‘The Community Of Hope’, centers around Washington D.C.’s Ward 7 which Harvey describes in particularly bleak language such as “Now this is just drug town, just zombies / But that’s just life” and the repeated “They’re gonna put a Walmart here”.
Now the DCist reports that multiple politicians in Ward 7 have responded to Harvey’s song, calling it a misrepresentation of the area.
“I will not dignify this inane composition with a response,” said former Mayor Vince Gray who is currently running for a city council seat in Ward 7. His campaign treasurer, Chuck Thies, was more vocal.
“PJ Harvey is to music what Piers Morgan is to cable news,” he said.
Grant Thompson, another candidate for the Ward 7 council seat, says he thinks Harvey “needs to see more of the city”, though he did use her lyric about the lack of sit-down restaurants as a jumping off point for his own campaign.
“One of the promises I’m making is that we’re going to bring more restaurants to Ward 7. We’re the last frontier in terms of development. We have one grocery store in the entire ward. I attribute that to poor leadership,” he said. Ultimately, he admits, “I really didn’t get the song. I didn’t.”
The responses were not limited to politicians, a Ward 7 healthcare, housing, and education nonprofit named The Community Of Hope called Harvey picture “incomplete” in an open letter.
“By calling out this picture of poverty in terms of streets and buildings and not the humans who live here, have you not reduced their dignity? Have you not trashed the place that, for better or worse, is home to people who are working to make it better, who take pride in their accomplishments,” they write.
Current Ward 7 councilwoman Yvette Alexander also responded on Twitter saying, “I respect all artist forms of expression, but this song does not reflect Ward 7!”
Harvey’s The Hope Six Demolition Project is out April 15. Revisit “The Community Of Hope” below.