Music

Jenny Hval: Viscera

Experimental chanteuse Jenny Hval takes an inward journey.


Jenny Hval

Viscera

Label: Rune Grammofon
UK Release Date: 2011-04-25
US Release Date: 2011-04-26
Label website
Amazon
Amazon
iTunes

Putting the "freak" back in freak-folk and taking the "folk" right about out of it, Jenny Hval's Viscera is perfectly at home on Norwegian experimental label Rune Grammofon. Hval sings in a keening voice about her body, her sexuality and her feelings, all of which are embodied simultaneously in the fragile, picked strings and spooky backup vocals that provide the album's ambience. Certain moments on Viscera are so weird and confessional that the music feels like performance art without the performance, as on opening track "Engines in the City" when Hval croons, "I arrived in town / With an electric toothbrush / Pressed against my clitoris". These are the first words on the album. Despite her determined eccentricity, Hval has a genuine ear for climactic arrangements (no pun intended); "Golden Locks" and "Portrait of the Young Girl as an Artist" both build to surprisingly lush catharses with devices as different as electronic echo and orchestral strings. But between loudness and quiet, Hval prefers the latter, setting up a truly reflective if questionably profound portrait of her innermost thoughts.

6

Over the Rainbow: An Interview With Herb Alpert

Music legend Herb Alpert discusses his new album, Over the Rainbow, maintaining his artistic drive, and his place in music history. "If we tried to start A&M in today's environment, we'd have no chance. I don't know if I'd get a start as a trumpet player. But I keep doing this because I'm having fun."

Jedd Beaudoin
Music

The Cigarette: A Political History (By the Book)

Sarah Milov's The Cigarette restores politics to its rightful place in the tale of tobacco's rise and fall, illustrating America's continuing battles over corporate influence, individual responsibility, collective choice, and the scope of governmental power. Enjoy this excerpt from Chapter 5. "Inventing the Nonsmoker".

Sarah Milov
Books
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2018 Popmatters.com. All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.