Jenny Hval – The Practice Of Love: Album Review

Label: Sacred Bones Records

Format: CD / LP / DD

Release Date: 13th September 2019

Norwegian artist, Jenny Hval, has hung around under the radar producing thought provoking and hypnotic music for many years. The Practice of Love feels like the record that might help her permeate an increasing amount of people’s minds.

Jenny Hval.
Photograph by: Lasse Marhuag

Story telling has always been an intrinsic part of Hval’s output. The Practice of Love is no different. For starters, the title suggests a theme. Throughout the album there are spoken interludes from a collection of different people that propel the theme of love, closeness, togetherness and intimacy.

French musician, poet, and visual artist, FĂ©licia Atkinson offers words and musical flourishes, as does Australian musician, Laura Jean. Vivian Wang also offers assistance throughout.

Musically, the album compliments its themes perfectly. The conversational aspects of the album are set to swirling synths and hypnotic melodies that put the words at the forefront of the songs.

The collective of Hval and her collaborators help create a pulsing electronic compositions that demand your attention. Lions, High Alice and Accident all have unique rhythms that underpin them. Ashes To Ashes is a more standard rhythmic affair and feels euphoric in its more 4/4 beat style. Again, the synthesised colour that builds around the beat is a glorious rainbow of joy.

Thumbsucker sees the synths locked in a swirling affair with a saxophone melody that flits in and out of the main body of the song as the wispy vocals grab your attention. Six Red Cannas employs the uptempo style of Ashes To Ashes with all of Hval’s album collaborators at one on the track.

Each listen to The Practise Of Love reveals a fresh layer of discovery; a sentence or two you missed, a melody, an orchestral progression…it is a truly wonderful journey of love on several levels. This is liberated, dreamy, mystical electronic music for the ages and one that deserves plenty of praise. It is more than a record, it’s a piece of art where every minute facet adds to the greater picture of the album.

Jenny Hval: Website / Facebook / Twitter

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