Norwegian singer-songwriter, record producer, multi instrumental musician and novelist Jenny Hval (b. 1980) started her musical career in the gothic Australian metal band Shellyz Raven. Her fifth album “Apocalypse, Girl” (2015) announced an imminent breakdown. “People say I sing like an angel before they hear what I’m singing about,” she says.
Ella Hval studied at the University of Melbourne, Australia, specializing in creative writing and performance. While studying, she was vocalist in Australian bands iPanic and Folding For Air.
Apocalypse, Girl won widespread critical acclaim. Her next album, Blood Bitch was a concept album released the following year influenced by vampires, menstruation and 1970s horror films. Last year, she released her seventh album, “The Practice of Love,” where she has taken love to heart. 90s-sounding synths back her varied vocals, and the lyrics are often whispered, more like a secret than a traditional song.
Ella Hval’s solo music has among other terms been described as avant-garde, art-pop or a kind of experimental folk music.
The Practice of Love
In a statement accompanying the announcement of Thye Practice of Love, she wrote, “Love as a theme in art has been the domain of the canonized, big artists. I have always seen myself as a minor character, a voice that speaks of other things.” That being said, the Norwegian artist manages to take the exhausted topic of love and transform it into something that feels both erudite and primal, a work that encourages both contemplation and movement.
The song titled “The Practice of Love” begins with musicians Vivian Wang and Lasse Marhaug reading from their own, original writings, and the song feels almost like spoken word. The artists discuss their relationship with the idea of love, saying “I hate ‘love’ in my own language. It contains the entire word ‘honesty’ inside it, which makes it sound religious … purified.”
I love Scandinavian culture
”I love Scandinavian culture, where gender differences are not as aggressively highlighted as in countries with more macho culture,” Jenny says and continues. “At the same time, it’s important to me not to perform wearing a traditional Scandinavian sweater right now.”
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The Norwegian Apocalypse singer/songwriter – and author
Jenny Hval published her novel Perlebryggeriet (Pearl Brewery) in 2009, and has also published article works in journals and anthologies, after studying literature and working as a freelance columnist and writer. An English edition, Paradise Rot: A Novel was translated by Marjam Idriss and published by Verso in October 2018.
The Norwegian Apocalypse Singer/Songwriter, written by Tor Kjolberg