PJ Harvey and Seamus Murphy document their visit to Afghanistan in ‘The Orange Monkey’


The ninth and latest studio album from PJ Harvey, The Hope Six Demolition Project, has been out a few weeks now, and we’re still wrapping our heads around it. For the video for LP’s third single, “The Orange Monkey”, award-winning photo-journalist and film-maker Seamus Murphy uses footage shot in Afghanistan in 2012 and 2014. The visuals are chilling.

“With the films I make for Polly Harvey’s music I try to reflect the song’s tune and mood, which means tapping into emotion,” Murphy writes. “I find emotion a truer compass than intellect when it comes to finding images and creating sequences for music. “The Orange Monkey” has warm, earthen colours with a pleasant, unrushed feel to it. There’s an underlying melancholy, which is leavened by the strength and energy of the Afghan people. We know there is tragedy but what we see is resilience.”

In 2012, Harvey joined Murphy on his trip to the war-torn country. Places featured in “The Orange Monkey” video are Kabul, Parwan, Nangarhar, and Helmand Provinces.


“The country is different each time; different politics, different conditions, different dangers and then there’s the physical differences brought about by the change in seasons,” adds Murphy. “Songs gets drawn from many experiences and events in a writer’s life and some elements could equally fit other songs about other things. Films work in similar ways. Would the shot of the baker drinking his Chai Sabz (green tea) be any different had it been taken on an earlier or later trip?”

Harvey is set to appear at a number of European festivals this summer, and comes stateside for two dates in August. The New York show, at Terminal 5, is sold out. Full dates below.

June 4 – Primavera Sound, Barcelona, Spain‬‬‬‬
June 5 – We Love Green Festival, Paris, France‬
June 7 – Release Athens, Athens, Greece
June 8 – Zorlu Performing Arts Centre, Istanbul, Turkey
June 10 – Primavera Sound, Porto, Portugal
June 12 – Field Day, London, United Kingdom
June 17 – Sideways Festival, Helsinki, Finland‬
June 18 – Ahmad Tea Music Festival, Moscow, Russia‬
June 20 – Zitadelle Spandau, Berlin, Germany
June 22 – INMusic, Zagreb, Croatia‬
June 24 – Down The Rabbit Hole, Beuningen, Netherlands‬
June 26 – Glastonbury, United Kingdom
June 27 – Eden Sessions, Cornwall, United Kingdom
June 29 – Open’er Festival, Gdynia, Poland‬
June 30 – Roskilde Festival, Denmark‬
July 2 – Rock Werchter, Werchter, Belgium‬
July 3 – Beauregard Festival, Herouville St Clair, France‬
July 7 – Pohoda Festival, Trenčín, Slovakia‬
July 8 – Harvest of Art Festival, Vienna, Austria‬
August 11 – OYA, Oslo, Norway‬
August 12 – Way Out West, Gothenburg, Sweden‬
August 16 – Terminal 5, New York City, NY (SOLD OUT)
August 18 – Shrine Expo Hall, Los Angeles, CA
November 6 – Iceland Airwaves, Reykjavik, Iceland