You’re in a giant glass chamber floating through the remote fringes of the universe. You’re immersed in blackness, and it’s silent. You were sent here from your faraway planet to learn of the pungent, thorned secrets of the long-extinct human species. A single spotlight suddenly illuminates a woman sitting on a stool in the center of the chamber. Her head is lowered, and her eyes are red (perhaps from crying). Your eyes gradually adjust, and you see that the room is filled with curious individuals of many species. She raises her head and begins to speak . . .
There is caution in my fingertips as I write this, because this is an important work taken directly from the heavy heart of a brave individual. Apocalypse, girl is Jenny Hval’s fifth album, and it’s honestly quite daunting to summarize this treasure of a record in three paragraphs. To be frank, the odds of you enjoying this album depend upon the extent to which you savor an experience to witness someone bear their entire soul.
Instrumentally, these tracks evolve through stages of sharp, spoken-word poetry, sublime ambience, electronic experimentation, and even morsels of pop. Clearly, these pieces of music were crafted by a true innovator, because the delightfully obscure song formats are otherworldly. It’s also worthy to note that a highly-adept troupe of musicians, including member of Jaga Jazzist and Swans, were drafted for this record.
Lyrically, these songs could provide ample content for cryptic novels. Her words float through explicit imagery, introspective monologues, and impressionistic enigmas. Hval ponders the questions that most avoid at all costs. Her self-declared genre is “Soft Dick Rock,” a potent descriptor that I urge the reader to contemplate while listening. If you’re seeking experimental, gorgeously-provoking music, this album is for you.
– stasi (@stasisphere)