Jenny Hval – Apocalypse, Girl – Album Review

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Jenny Hval Apocalypse Girl Review

Jenny Hval is the Apocalypse, girl – a June release for July born Hval, her fifth studio album out on Sacred Bones Records. Norweigan Hval is a rare breed of singer/songwriter, and was once a vocalist of a gothic metal band Shellyz Ravern. She’s also collaborated with other musicians as well as going solo, so she’s pretty diverse as well as perverse.

This Apocalypse, girl sings, writes and performs with eclectic electricity, and manipulates her voice to sound so much different from all the rest of the players. Jenny is way outside the mainstream, not even bothering to knock the door to be let in; Hval wants to be discovered on the outside, looking in, like a voyeur.

And so to the new album, revealing to you track by track, layer upon layer.  Imagine lyrics as a strip show.   The opener, ‘Kingsize, is completely bananas in a most erotic, talk dirty to me, kinky way. ‘Kingsize’’s yellow gist seems life, sex and womanhood as viewed from under the Hval hood, blowing those big bananas right out of her hair!

This tubes and lubes us into song two, ‘Take Care Of Yourself’, and an unreal  masturbation fantasy. Cut three is the sublime lead track from the album, ‘That Battle Is Over’, Jenny says is inspired by her wish to sing Karaoke in a direct, flat style without a background. “Trying to create one makes the song more shallow. Or worse – makes the listener obsolete”.

Up next, the haunting off-kilter ‘White Underground’ – an ambient scratch of a tune. Half-way…to ‘Heaven…the fifth of the ten tracks. ‘Heaven’ is a little girl lost sing-a-song and breathily builds, then evaporates, to be sorely missed. ‘Why This’ is a choral hand-job, asking questions, searching for answers, that never come. ‘Some Days’ is only 45 seconds long, rather than a seven inch grab. Number eight is a submission called ‘Sabbath’ which is a melodic rap attack, not afraid of using the C – word.

The penultimate composition ‘Angels And Anaemia’ lifts and separates the soul from the spirit, and suggests its Jenny life awakening, life affirming ditty. The final cut, ‘Holy Land’, is a ten minute mass; finishing the listener off with some heavy panting. No liner notes required, we get it, and leave the scene, confused and yet strangely satisfied, knowing we’ll come back for more, after dark and under a neon red sign.

You can catch multi-talented Jenny Hval in the UK as part of a wider European tour as follows :-

  • Wednesday 10 June London (Royal Festival Hall)
  • Thursday 11 June Manchester (Guillivers)
  • Friday 12 June Brighton (The Hope)
  • Saturday 13 June Cardiff (Clwb For Bach)
  • Sunday 14 June London (Cafe Oto)

Everything about Jenny’s Apocalypse, is Girl on fire, but of the softer, more forgiving kind – best illustrated by the devotion throughout to soft dick rather than wanting the full -blown erection. She won’t get much, if any, mainstream radio play because of the adult themes and swear words, but she will thrill the punters that pay for it.

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