Jenny Hval – “Ashes To Ashes”

Norwegian experimental pop artist Jenny Hval made quite a splash with her brooding 2016 album Blood Bitch, which we named one of the best albums of that year. Since then, Hval has kept busy, releasing music with her collaborative project Lost Girls, putting out 2018’s The Long Sleep EP and unleashing her debut novel. Now Hval is keeping her artistic momentum flowing with the announcement of her next full-length record, The Practice Of Love, out in September.

Though the album shares a title with and is partly inspired by Valie Export’s 1985 film of the same name, Hval says that Practice is primarily concerned with how intimacy manifests, what it means to grow older and examining one’s relation to others, the Earth and one’s self. She expands on the album’s thematic content in a statement:

The last thing I wrote, which was my new book (forthcoming), had quite an angry voice. The voice of an angry teenager, furious at the hierarchies. Perhaps this album rediscovers that same voice 20 years later. Not so angry anymore, but still feeling apart from the mainstream, trying to find their place and their community. With that voice, I wanted to push my writing practice further, writing something that was multilayered, a community of voices, stories about both myself and others simultaneously, or about someone’s place in the world and within art history at the same time. I wanted to develop this new multi-tracked writing voice and take it to a positive, beautiful pop song place… A place which also sounds like a huge pile of earth that I’m about to bury my coffin in.

Today, Hval is also sharing the record’s lead single, “Ashes To Ashes.” It’s a luminous art-pop ballad that begins with quiet keyboards and eventually blooms and flourishes with rich, glistening synths and Hval’s mystical voice. Listen below.

01 “Lions” (Feat. Vivian Wang)
02 “High Alice”
03 “Accident” (Feat. Laura Jean)
04 “The Practice of Love” (Feat. Laura Jean & Vivian Wang)
05 “Ashes To Ashes”
06 “Thumbsucker” (Feat. Félicia Atkinson and Laura Jean)
07 “Six Red Cannas” (Feat. Vivian Wang, Félicia Atkinson, & Laura Jean)
08 “Ordinary” (Feat. Vivian Wang & Félicia Atkinson)

The Practice Of Love is out 9/13 via Sacred Bones. Pre-order it here.

CREDIT: Lasse Marhaug
Tags: Jenny Hval