I’ve never been to New York. I’ve seen it from a distance when I was in New Jersey briefly for work. The skyline was off to my right as we drove towards a client meeting. I could trace the lines of the building with my fingers on the passenger side glass. It felt unfair to be so close. I’ve read about New York in books, poems, and short stories. I’ve seen it in countless films. And, I’ve heard the city in so much music. PJ Harvey’s album, Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea always feels like New York to me. The New York I know in my dreams, and imaginings. Every track feels like the city to me. I feel like if I ever get to visit I need to walk around, at least once, with headphones in, and listen to this album while being in New York.
Though the album feels like New York to me, it also has other memories attached to it. “You Said Something” reminds me of an apartment in Chicago and a conversation I had there. “The Whores Hustle and the Hustlers Whore” reminds me of a character I’m writing, “This Is Love” reminds me of this past month and of falling deeply in love, and this song, “Horses In My Dreams”, now reminds me of driving around at night this past weekend with the man I love listening to it together.
Maybe one day we can listen to this song, and the album, together in New York.
“Horses In My Dreams” by Polly Jean Harvey
from the album, Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea (2000)
Song of the Day
“Rode a horse round the world,
along the tracks of a train,
broke the record,
found the gold –
set myself free again.”
Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea is PJ Harvey’s fifth studio album. It was recorded from March to April in 2000 and contains themes of love that are tied into Harvey’s affection for New York City.
That said, she has insisted in interviews that it is not “my New York album”. Though many of the songs were inspired by the nine months she lived in New York while working on a film as an actor, she also wrote some of the album’s tracks while in London and at her home, in Dorset. (from Wikipedia)
“Horses In My Dreams” (live) by Polly Jean Harvey