Jenny Hval

Apocalypse, girl

Sacred Bones

Jun 05, 2015 Issue #53 - April/May 2015 - Tame Impala Bookmark and Share


While many musicians are happy to stick a "na-na-na," a "baby, baby" or any old throwaway rubbish over their thoughtless three-chord ditties, Jenny Hval is determined to push her language just as far as her music. Sitting somewhere between bawdy poet, avant-garde Ballardian sci-fi author, experimental composer, and actual pop star, Hval's unique brain is jam-packed with ideas, many of them a little bit filthy. Performing at last year's Supersonic Festival, she blamed her Norwegian-ness for the fact that she is "very shy" but gets "the urge to shout rude things." She doesn't exactly shout as much as she sings, whispers, sighs, and speaks about cunts, fucking, naked boys, and banana phalluses. As her less venereal lyrics help to clarify, however, her broader themes are about far bigger ideas. Identity, gender, power, private enterprise, consumer culture, individuality, community, religion... Seriously, this album deserves the attention of a penetrative PhD dissertation rather than a limply trivial album review.

Her equally expansive musical range travels from the discordant No-Neck Blues Band-style noise plonking of the opening track, through sparklingly ambient Cluster-isms, to catchier synth-pop material that might have the commercial potential of Massive Attack or Moby were it not for her compulsively and brilliantly unsettling lyrics. "I'm 33 now. That's Jesus' age.... And how do I sing religiously?" she asks at one point. Well, perhaps not by chanting things like "I beckon the cupcake, the huge capitalist clit." But don't let that stop you, please. (www.jennyhval.com)

Author rating: 8/10

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Average reader rating: 8/10



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steve moxon
June 9th 2015
1:20am

Actually it really DOES need a MUSIC review instead of the usual crap posing, politics, and a 9/10 just for being a female.