Norwegian singer and songwriter Jenny Hval is what we dub ‘non-conformist.’ Her new album Apocalypse, girl is certainly unconventional and provocative. Much like her previous album Innocence is Kinky, which she released in 2013, she continues to speak her mind in a way that is quite telling of her strong and opinionated stance on issues pertaining to love, sex and expression as a woman.
Even before getting to the album tracks, the cover of the album piques one’s interest. You get the sense that even though the image is that of a ‘tired slumping-over-after-a-hectic-night’ image, it has an element that sparks just a little bit of allure and dare one say, enticement? The cover itself would make one pause for a moment, even before listening to the tracks.
Ooh, this is where it gets interesting! She has such a way with how she plays out her introductory lyrics in every song. One cannot help but be seduced by her voice that changes undulation throughout her latest album Apocalypse, girl. Apocalypse, girl was produced by Sacred Bones record.
Here is the thing about Jenny Hval: She speaks her mind. She is vocal about issues that some female artists, especially, would shy away from. One would say her usage of language leans more towards graphic. After all, the usage of a word such as ‘cunt’ is a word some artists would shy away from. But not Jenny.
Her genre in this album still leans more towards experimental rock and indie (same undertones as previous album); with the exception that she has more synth and downtempo undertones in her songs. That Battle Is Over is the perfect example of the infusion of synth, downtempo, indie-ambient. One easily gets carried away when listening to this song in a trance/ambient dreamy wave-like state. Her soft voice, which is in contrast to her lyrics which are thought-provoking, carries you through the song in a series of undulations that are fully expressive. I certainly found myself repeating this song many times over!
The whole album is worth a listen. Songs such as Sabbath and Heaven will make you press repeat on your playlist. While Heaven is a mix of upbeat and downtempo in one, with the song getting a prolonged downtempo beat towards the end, Sabbath is more grunge and is an eclectic mix of low-fi and indie/ambient. Jenny outdid herself here. You cannot help but be seduced by the musical genius that went into the beats, with every note striking just the right chord. One cannot help but admire such ‘careless’ precision. It comes off as effortless.
Apocalypse, girl tracklist:
- Take Care of Yourself
- That Battle Is Over
- White Underground
- Why This?
- Some Days
- Angels & Anaemia
- Holy Land
Is this album a yay or nay? A definite yay! Be open-mined. You will learn a thing or two. It is worth a listen. Why not give it a go.