Jenny Hval – Ashes To Ashes

‘Ashes To Ashes’ is the debut release from Jenny’s Hval’s new album ‘The Practice Of Love’. The first thing to strike you is Hval’s voice. Undoubtedly its minimalist and uncomplicated simplicity is a thing of beauty. You can feel the Nordic undertones in her wispy and delicate delivery welded to the bleakness and beauty of her Norwegian homeland which is tangibly entwined to her vocals, it’s as if she drags it with her, both blessed and cursed, a proverbial ball and chain of inescapable softness and sadness which is yearning and needing to find it’s lost home.

The song certainly plays out to a retro 90’s electronic beat and there is a spiritual and life affirming feel throughout the track as it delicately pounds through the song’s entirety, never quite taking off despite whispering in your ear and promising that it will at just about any given moment. Especially once the songs exquisitely timid, almost shy start forges deeper into the track.  ‘Ashes To Ashes’ feels a lot less dark than Hval’s previous releases and is an interestingly different, seemingly less obvious route for her to pursue. It will certainly be interesting to see if this embodies her new album.

‘Practice Of Love’ is released on September 13th via Sacred Bones.

John Frazer