Jenny Hval – Music News

In Music



Sacred Bones Records (label)

13 September 2019 (released)

13 September 2019


‘What is love?’ existentially cried Haddaway. The KLF demanded to know the time of its arrival. The Troggs reasoned it was all around. Jenny Hval probes further and deconstructs and reconstructs the rules of attraction/distraction: is ‘love’ all a game designed to divert and avert the realities of life?

Are we autonomous animals or organisms at the whim of a higher architect? Are the rituals of electronic existence simply an arena of connected alienation and disconnected causation? So many questions, who’s got the answers?

‘Lions’ is a skittering, jittering takedown of all the things we take for granted, rarely stopping to ask ‘How?’ and/or ‘Why?’. A throbbing backbeat augments a panoramic survey: ‘Look at these trees / Look at this grass / Look at those clouds / Look at them now / Study this and ask yourself: Where is God?’ An age old query for age old concerns.

‘High Alice’ takes a trip upwards, downwards, soaring sidewards, a kaleidoscopic careening that results in the epiphany: ‘I/we all want something better’ – emancipation through artistic action/creation.

When is a mistake not a mistake? Counter errorism abounds on ‘Accident’ which tackles the eternal conundrum ‘how did we get here?’: cosmic calamity or deity-led experiment? Or something else …

‘The Practice of Love’ is an extra-sensory mediation on the etymology of ‘love’ and a stark admission that procreation is nothing more than ‘keeping the virus going’: a bleak (yet necessary) summation of the (re)production of rigmarole that is genetic seeding. A passing on of atavism and habits that bears thinking about.

New Age unraveller Hval has produced a timely tableau of birth, life, death and all that occurs in-between. Hval has said that this album is inspired by 1990s ‘trance’ music (especially on ‘Six Red Cannas’s metronomic mantra messages): in its archaic meaning trance is derived from fear. This album banishes all forms of fear and advises us all to step outside to ‘be and see’ right in.



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