New, Magnetic & Provocative Tracks: Jenny Hval – Innocence is Kinky

Jenny Hval - Innocence is Kinky

Jenny Hval. Photograph: Kristine Jakobsen

I woke up this morning with a heavy heart. Uneasiness and uncertainty were oozing from my pores like booze after a liquor drenched bender. However, the undeniable and surprising cure-all that stopped my anxiousness dead in its tracks was the unusual, breath-taking and magnetic sound, voice and lyrics of artist, Jenny Hval.

The Norwegian singer-songwriter just released her fourth album, Innocence is Kinky, produced by longtime PJ Harvey collaborator, John Parish. The boundaries Hval pushes in her latest album lyrically and musically, especially with her lightening-quick voice transformations is all-consuming.

In an interview with The Guardian, Hval explains her lyrics for Innocence is Kinky “draw on a dark pool of influences, from the crimes of Norwegian mass-murderer Anders Breivik to Paris Hilton… In her songs, the female body gets lost, burned, chucked out to sea – anything to break it free of the media or male gaze. ‘When you listen to this and to these lyrics, the body could be anything, anywhere.'”

On her site, Hval states that Innocence is Kinky was also heavily influenced by her artistry, as it’s also the name of her 25 minute long sound and light installation. She channeled her desire to play more abrasively in comparison to her 2011 album, Viscera. “I found myself getting more and more aggressive on stage with this material, wanting to play louder instead of working with acoustic, hushed soundscapes, but I didn’t know how. I wanted to sing louder, channel this energy, sharpen all edges, loosen the structures… I was drawn to music very much exploring that position – particularly Nick CaveBlixa Bargeld and Michael Gira. To work with these powerful expressions – and failing miserably with my voice and body – was creating a specific energy I found necessary for the album.”

Innocence is Kinky is out now via Rune Grammofon. Have a listen two magnetic tracks from the album:

Jenny Hval – The Seer

Jenny Hval – Mephisto in the Water

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