Jenny Hval has in recent years made a name for herself as an artist, musician and writer both in Norway and abroad. When her third record Viscera was released in 2011, WIRE magazine described the record as: “a stunning achievement both conceptually and musically.”
Multidisciplinary and transgressive are words often employed to describe her art, but Jenny Hval’s polyphonic artistry is in fact seamlessly interwoven between musical, literary, visual and performative modes of expression. Despite her young age, she has already infused, carved and modulated an artistic voice that is altogether present, accessible and obscurely complex at the same time.
Viscera was recorded with Hval’s own free rock trio and overflowed with intimate detail and surrealistic bodily imagery. The follow-up Innocence Is Kinky(2013) was produced in Bristol, England by PJ Harvey collaborator John Parish, who helped bring out the intimate qualities of her lyrics and sharpened her improvisational tendencies, weaving spellbinding new forms of intelligent, experimental pop with injections from mythology, theory and gender politics. You can also trace her no-holds-barred streams of consciousness and unorthodox subject matter back to earlier heroes such as Einstürzende Neubauten’s Blixa Bargeld (her title puns on their LP “Silence Is Sexy”), Patti Smith, Michael Gira, Nick Cave and Kate Bush.
Jenny Hval studied Creative Writing at the University of Melbourne, and Literature at the University of Oslo. She has previously released two albums under the alias Rockettothesky as well as two books – the novel Perlebryggeriet (The Pearl Brewery) in 2009 and the collage text Inn i ansiktet (Sings with her eyes) in 2012. Alongside this she has, produced collaborative performances and sound installations, as well as contributing to magazines, anthologies and newspapers.
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