Uncut is pleased to announce that PJ Harvey has been chosen as the fourth winner of the Uncut Music Award, for “Let England Shake”.
Our illustrious panel of judges met last month to select a winner from the shortlist of eight records, with “Let England Shake” emerging as the clear victor. It was, said Allan Jones, Uncut editor and chair of the panel, “A brave and dramatic record”, while Mark Cooper, BBC Creative Head Of Music Entertainment, described Harvey as “the best British artist of the last 20 years; a brilliantly inventive and self-demanding artist.”
Linda Thompson also “loved it. I was impressed that a woman could go through a whole album and not mention some stupid bloke, except a stupid dead bloke. I love anything without hooks and choruses, that’s bliss for me, and these songs are beautifully played – beautifully underplayed.”
“I’m very pleased to get the Uncut Music Award, and it strengthens my desire to carry on pursuing the avenues of work I have been for the last 20 years,” said PJ Harvey in response to the news. “It strengthens my conviction to always trust my instincts and to continue to do work of meaning and importance, in some way.”
Harvey joins Fleet Foxes (2008), Tinariwen (2009) and Paul Weller (2010), the previous winners of the Uncut Music Award. In second place this year, behind “Let England Shake”, was Paul Simon’s “So Beautiful Or So What”, while third place was awarded to Gillian Welch’s “The Harrow And The Harvest”.
The five other albums on the shortlist were “Bon Iver” by Bon Iver, “Apocalypse” by Bill Callahan, “Helplessness Blues” by Fleet Foxes, “Last Of The Country Gentlemen” by Josh T Pearson and Radiohead’s “The King Of Limbs”.
For full coverage of the awards, and an exclusive new interview with PJ Harvey, see the new issue of Uncut. Meanwhile, we’ll be publishing the judges’ deliberations about each album on the shortlist here at our dedicated Uncut Music Award 2012 blog over the next two weeks.