Jenny Hval Apocalypse, girl
Published Jun 08, 2015By taking the listener down into a cavernous chamber of stream-of-conscious musings on Apocalypse, girl, Jenny Hval invites us to a haunting vision of desire and frustration. Spoken word, drum loops, organs and synths craft an ethereal dream that is punctured by the dark subject matter of the lyrics. Hval delves into sexuality frequently, with opening track "Kingsize" touching on gender roles and indefinable malaise. "Take Care of Yourself," meanwhile, strips away our presumptions about what it means to live and maintain our lives and the uncomfortable result of not knowing.
The tracks on Apocalypse, girl flow into one another like smooth, glassy water, and the collaborations, with improv cellist Okkyung Lee, harpist Rhodri Davies and Swans' Thor Harris, add texture. Hval's voice is the most dynamic instrument on the album, ranging from a barely-there whisper to a searing wail. By the end of the album, the songs have seemed to shift scenes from an intimate chamber to an expansive chapel where ideas of rebirth and bodily constraints take hold.
Album closer "Holy Land" lets us drift one last time in tortured reverie for a length of ten minutes, the perfect amount of time to contemplate the aural and instrumental experiments before letting go of Apocalypse, girl. (Sacred Bones)