Polly Jean Harvey (born 9 October 1969) is an English musician hailing from Corscombe, Dorset, known for her darkly humorous, theatrical AlternativeRock sound.

Harvey formed her first band, named "PJ Harvey", as a teenager with drummer Rob Ellis and bassist Ian Olliver, who soon left and was replaced by Steve Vaughan. Drawing on influences from alt-rock bands like Music/ThePixies and Music/{{Television}}, the contemporary {{Grunge}} movement, blues-rock and Music/CaptainBeefheart, the trio independently released their first album ''Music/{{Dry}}'' in 1992. ''Dry'' quickly brought them critical acclaim and attention within the AlternativeRock scene, with ''Magazine/RollingStone'' magazine naming her the year's Best Songwriter and [[Music/{{Nirvana}} Kurt Cobain]] naming ''Dry'' as one of his favourite albums.

Harvey, Ellis and Vaughan signed to Island Records and commenced work on their follow-up album with the help of RecordProducer Steve Albini, hired specifically because he produced Music/ThePixies' ''Music/SurferRosa'', an album and band Harvey is a huge fan of. The resulting album, ''Rid of Me'', enjoyed critical acclaim for its harsh, grungy sound and its intense songwriting. Ellis and Vaughan left the band after its release and Harvey continued as a solo artist. Her solo career has largely been defined by experimentation, alternating between blues-influenced guitar-heavy angry PunkRock, catchy pop-rock and subdued, experimental material, all tied together by her darkly humorous lyrics and theatrical performances. She herself has declared that ''when I'm working on a new record, the most important thing is to not repeat myself''.

Among the accolades she has received have been the 2001 and 2011 Mercury Music Prizes (the only Artist to win twice), seven BRIT Award nominations, five Grammy Award nominations and a further two Mercury Music Prize nominations. She was also given an MBE in the 2013 Queen's Birthday Honours list for "services to music". Magazine/RollingStone named her 1992's Best New Artist and Best Singer Songwriter and 1995's Artist of the Year, and placed two of her albums (''Music/RidOfMe'', ''Music/ToBringYouMyLove'') on its 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. She was also rated the number one female rock artist by Q magazine in a 2002 reader poll. Harvey has said that she enjoys performing more than writing and recording because performing is when the music "makes more sense".

Throughout her career, Harvey has collaborated with several other musicians, most of them from the AlternativeRock scene, such as: Music/NickCave (contributing vocals to two songs on ''Music/MurderBallads''), ''Tricky'' (a song on ''Angels With Dirty Faces''), the band Music/{{Sparklehorse}} (lending guitar, bass and backing vocals to two songs from ''It's a Wonderful Life''), Music/MarianneFaithfull (she produced, wrote and performed on five songs from ''Before the Poison''), Music/MarkLanegan and [[Music/{{Radiohead}} Thom Yorke]] (who sang lead vocals on "This Mess We're In" and provided backing vocals for two other songs from ''Music/StoriesFromTheCityStoriesFromTheSea''). She has also created two albums in collaboration with John Parish, ''Dance Hall at Louse Point'' and ''A Woman a Man Walked By''.
!!Studio album discography:
* ''Music/{{Dry}}'' (1992)
* ''Music/RidOfMe'' (1993)
* ''4-Track Demos'' (1993) - contains all the demos for the songs from ''Rid of Me'', including a few that were left off the album.
* ''Music/ToBringYouMyLove'' (1995)
* ''Music/IsThisDesire'' (1998)
* ''Music/StoriesFromTheCityStoriesFromTheSea'' (2000)
* ''Music/UhHuhHer'' (2004)
* ''Music/WhiteChalk'' (2007)
* ''Let England Shake'' (2011)
* ''The Hope Six Demolition Project'' (2016)

!!With John Parish:
* ''Dance Hall at Louse Point'' (1996)
* ''A Woman a Man Walked By'' (2009)

* ''4-Track Demos'' (1993)
* ''The Peel Sessions 1991-2004'' (2006)
!!! "Tropes from the city, tropes from the sea":
* AntiLoveSong: "Shame"
* AttackOfThe50FootWhatever: "50 Ft. Queenie" from ''Music/RidOfMe''.
* BigApplesauce: ''Music/StoriesFromTheCityStoriesFromTheSea''
* {{Bookends}}: "Angelene" starts and ends with the line "My first name's Angeline".
* CarefulWithThatAxe: And how. Pretty much half of ''Music/RidOfMe'' was this and a good portion of ''Music/ToBringYouMyLove''.
* ClusterFBomb: Appropriately enough, "Who The Fuck?"
* CoverVersion: "Music/Highway61Revisited" by Music/BobDylan, "Is That All There Is?" by Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller, "Wang Dang Doodle" by Music/HowlinWolf. There's also the version she did of "[[Music/TheRollingStones Satisfaction]]" along with Music/{{Bjork}}.
* DoubleEntendre: "The Letter" is basically a genderflipped Music/{{ACDC}} song in terms of this.
* DuetBonding: Polly had a romantic fling with Music/{{Nick Cave}} around the time she sang "Henry Lee" with him for the album ''Music/MurderBallads''.
* ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin: "Seagulls" within ''Uh Huh Her''.
* FemaleGaze: "This Is Love":
--> ''I can't believe life's so complex\\
When I just wanna' sit here and watch you undress''
* {{Homage}}: "Memphis" is one to the late Music/JeffBuckley who was a dear friend of hers.
* {{Instrumentals}}: "The End", "Girl"
* LyricalDissonance: Used frequently, particularly on ''Let England Shake''. See "The Colour of the Earth", for example, a jaunty quite whistle-able major-key guitar tune set to lyrics about a man [[WarIsHell hearing his best friend dying alone on the battlefield while crying for help and not being able to do anything about it.]]
* NeoclassicalPunkZydecoRockabilly: She switches between AlternativeRock, AvantGardeMusic, CountryMusic, {{Blues}} and {{Pop}}.
* NewSoundAlbum: Every one of them.
* NiceHat: As of ''Music/LetEnglandShake'' PJ has been wearing a [[http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2011/04/18/img_34811_wide.jpg?t=1303160971&s=4 raven headdress]]... Thingy at concerts.
* ObsessionSong: "Legs."
* OffingTheOffspring: "Down by the Water."
* OneWomanSong: "Angelene," "My Beautiful Leah," and "A Perfect Day, Elise." All from ''Music/IsThisDesire?''.
* OneWomanWail: "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWghMNiJVsY The Mountain]]."
* RadioVoice: Used on the first verse of "Highway 61 Revisited" from ''Music/RidOfMe,'' as if to trick the listener into turning up the volume. The second verse, [[JumpScare not so much.]]
* ShoutOut: This happens all over ''Music/IsThisDesire,'' with several songs containing lyrics that allude to various works of fiction. "The Wind" and "Catherine" are both about St. Catherine of Alexandria, the former about her life and the latter from the perspective of the emperor Maxentius, who offered to marry her and beheaded her when she refused.
** "Take your [[Literature/{{Carrie}} dirty pillows]] away from me!" in "Sheela-na-gig."
* SillyLoveSongs: "It's You," "This is Love," among '''many''' others.
* SingleStanzaSong: "No Child of Mine."
* SlutShaming: "Sheela-na-gig" is about being slut shamed by a would be suitor.
* SopranoAndGravel: her duets with both [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZCdFq5Zw8Y Björk]] and [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iO9tA8-kbk8 Thom Yorke]] with Polly being the gravel part to both songs.
** Her duet with Music/NickCave also, where she was the soprano.
* TomatoInTheMirror: "Who Will Love Me Now?" is a narrative song where the character sings of monster in the forest who has done terrible things, the monster lamenting 'who will love me now?' At the end of the song the character reveals ''they'' are the monster.
* WarIsHell: One of the primary themes of ''Music/LetEnglandShake.''
* WomanScorned: As if the ''title'' of ''Music/RidOfMe'' wasn't a big enough clue...