Lost Girls Find Pop Melodies in the Mire on 'Selvutsletter'

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BY Kaelen BellPublished Oct 23, 2023

Where 2018's Drive EP and 2021's full-length debut Menneskekollektivet were defined by their unruly, serpentine excursions into Jenny Hval's vast subconscious, Lost Girls' latest dispatch plays squarely in the realm of pop songs. 

Okay, so there's still the nine-minute-and-change closer "Sea White," and these songs sound nothing like pop music in the conventional sense. But Selvutsletter finds Hval and Håvard Volden in newly economical form, bending their songs into tight spirals of melody and colour rather than letting them flail into deep space. 

The light-as-air shimmer of "June 1996," the unstoppable, cerebral momentum of "Ruins," the dance-pop electric shock of "With the Other Hand" — Selvutsletter dresses some of Hval's slipperiest and most inscrutable mantras in some of the most engaging melodic exercises of her career. 

And while it doesn't have the same obvious conceptual through-lines as some of Hval's best work, the wildness of her music with Volden has become a calling card all its own — Lost Girls is where we come to parse the detritus of Hval's subconscious. 

(Smalltown Supersound)

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