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Norwegian artist Jenny Hval announces the release of her new album, Blood Bitch via Sacred Bones. Co-produced with acumen noise producer Lasse Marhaug, Blood Bitch is in many respects a complete 180° from her last album, Apocalypse, girl, in subject matter, execution and production. It is Hval’s most focused album, but the lens is filtered through a gaze which the viewer least expects.
In the words of Jenny Hval: “Blood Bitch is an investigation of blood. Blood that is shed naturally. The purest and most powerful, yet most trivial, and most terrifying blood: Menstruation. The white and red toilet roll chain which ties together the virgins, the whores, the mothers, the witches, the dreamers, and the lovers. Blood Bitch is also a fictitious story, fed by characters and images from horror and exploitation films of the '70s. With that language, rather than smart, modern social commentary, I found I could tell a different story about myself and my own time: a poetic diary of modern transience and transcendence. There is a character in this story that is a vampire Orlando, traveling through time and space. But there is also a story here of a 35-year old artist stuck in a touring loop, and wearing a black wig. She is always up at night, jet lagged, playing late night shows - and by day she is quietly resting over an Arp Odyssey synthesizer while a black van drives her around Europe and America. So this is my most fictional and most personal album. It’s also the first album where I’ve started reconnecting with the goth and metal scene I started out playing in many years ago, by remembering the drony qualities of Norwegian Black Metal. It’s an album of vampires, lunar cycles, sticky choruses, and the smell of warm leaves and winter.”
Jenny Hval has developed her distinct take on intimate sound since the release of her debut album in 2006. For her last two solo albums, 2013's Innocence Is Kinky and 2015’s Apocalypse, girl, Hval has received thoughtful and widespread international acclaim for her fascinating voice, singular delivery and markedly non-traditional arrangements which incorporate elements of poetry, prose writing,
performance art, and film. She eloquently brings to light issues of both male and female gaze.
Barry says: It sounds like Hval may have just written her opus. Subversive synthetic rhythms and churning drones are cut through with stunningly serene moments (Conceptual Romance is a particularly stunning interlude after an abstract trio of mood-setting numbers). Spoken word samples set the tone to a backdrop of meditative swirls and vocal swoops on 'Untamed Region' while follower 'The Great Undressing' is brilliantly syncopated spoken/sung words over the backdrop of almost utopian arpeggios and crescentic pads. Harsh moments make the lucid intervals all the more stunning, revealing the beauty behind the struggles, accentuating both the highs and lows. Masterpiece.
1. Ritual Awakening
2. Female Vampire
3. In The Red
4. Conceptual Romance
5. Untamed Region
6. The Great Undressing
7. Period Piece
8. The Plague
9. Secret Touch