Electric Literature shared a story from Ladee Hubbard's story collection The Last Suspicious Holdout. Jenny Hval talked books with with SPIN. March's best eBook deals. Today's best eBook deals. Consequence of Sound defined the Mountain Goats discography in ten songs. Evan Ross Katz shared the biggest takeaways in his book...
Jenny Hval isn’t the only artist to have used the pandemic as a chance to reassess the creative process. The challenge the Norwegian polymath set herself as she wrote the eight songs on her eighth album was for them to be about “just me”. Whether that’s what she has achieved is open to interpretation: these songs have autobiographical starting points, but Hval’s lyrics are so rich in allusion and so full of unpredictable twists and turns (American Coffee, for example, takes in Deleuze-quoting nurses and a UTI-tainted cinema trip) that it’s hard to know where reality ends and metaphysical pondering begins. Either way, “What is a home but the place you’ll be dying?” is a sentiment that’s unlikely to ever feature in estate agents’ brochures.
"When I listen deep, I'm not my owner," Jenny Hval sings towards the end of her new album Classic Objects. "Maybe I never was." It's a concept the experimental Norwegian artist has explored again and again in her complex but playful body of work, matching dark synth-pop with lyrics that explore academic ideas about liberation and the self. On her 2015 album Apocalypse, girl, she wrestled cynically with "self-care" and feminist empowerment that ends with individual consumption; on 2019's The Practice of Love, she slipped in recorded conversations about being a childless woman in your 30s, and the realization that one is not "the main character" of life, but rather a "talking tree" or "witch."
In the autumn of 2019, Jenny Hval’s Paris show was interrupted by a rival spectacle – an impressive achievement, considering that a Hval gig already constitutes quite the extravaganza. Over the years, the experimental Norwegian singer-songwriter has been joined on stage by a huge inflatable clam, a projected image of a pregnant Angelina Jolie, a flower-throwing, banana-eating man and all manner of other leftfield antics. Yet it was something rather run of the mill that stole the audience’s attention on that evening: an in-crowd marriage proposal.
This week is chock-full of new music! Ghost have followed up 2018’s ‘Prequelle’, Ho9909 have dropped their Travis Barker-produced sophomore LP, and Jenny Hval has put out her eighth studio album. Head below for the rest of this week’s new releases. Ben Abraham – ‘Friendly Fire’...
Jenny Hval’s latest album, Classic Objects, is out this week. The Norwegian musician has shared two tracks from it so far, “Jupiter” and “Year Of Love,” both of which landed on our 5 Best Songs Of The Week list, and today she’s back with one more before the whole thing is out in full. “Freedom” is a lullaby-ish meditation about the meaning or lack thereof of being free. Here’s Hval on the track: