After last year's excellent The Hope Six Demolition Project
, PJ Harvey
has already returned with a few great tracks (notably "A Dog Called Money' and "I'll be Waiting"). But her newest single, "The Camp," is something special. Not only is it a beautiful collaboration with Egyptian musician Ramy Essam, but the song is also meant to raise awareness for the Syrian Refugee Crisis in Lebanon. All proceeds will be donated to Beyond Association in the Bekaa Valley.
The song itself is absolutely chilling. PJ Harvey's lyrics are, predictably, as great as they've ever been ("A girl whose mouth was a straight line looked like a creature out of time. A boy burnt by cigarettes pushed his scarred hand through the fence"). Ramy Essam's lyrics are also incredibly moving (English translation: "What difference does it make if we're all humans? No wars, no limits, no borders. Earth is everyone's right.") It's heartbreaking, and so is the video, which features black-and-white photographs of Syrian refugees in the Bekaa Valley (taken by photographer Giles Duley).
This, of course, is not the first time that Harvey has written a politically-motivated song. However, "The Camp" is easily one of her most important, and relevant, releases to date. But Essam, who is known around the world for performing in Tahrir Square during the Egyptian Revolution, is the real highlight here. You can tell how passionate he is about this issue, thanks to an emotionally invested performance. His voice is beautiful, but it's the evocative imagery in his lyrics that will (hopefully) be enough to motivate you to contribute to the cause.