NUDE ON SAND: Nude On Sand (SOFA Music)

themilkman on Apr 19th 2012 01:25 am

Nude On Sand: Nude On Sand

NUDE ON SAND
Nude On Sand
SOFA537
SOFAMUSIC 2012
07 Tracks. 31mins45secs

Amazon UK: CD | DLD US: CD | DLD iTunes: DLD Spotify: STRM

Jenny Hval’s songs are incredibly raw and visceral affairs in which she exposes her every emotion, as beautiful or disturbing as it is. On Viscera, the album she published last year on Rune Grammofon, she took this so far as to draw an extremely astute and crude picture of the human body and exhibit an incredibly vast array of bodily functions, hers and that of others, woven into wonderful miniature pop songs. One of her companions on that journey was guitarist Håvard Volden, with whom she has teamed up to form Nude On Sand. With two guitars and one voice, they present a less polished version of Hval’s work. Here more than on any of her previous projects, Hval is left utterly exposed and vulnerable as a vocalist, but, for anyone who has seen her perform live, it is a position she thrives on and thoroughly relishes.

Hval’s lyrics are as disconcertingly honest and surreal as on Viscera; her choice of words and the way she assembles them into penetrating stories, which at once make no sense yet are exceedingly meaningful, is exacerbated by the extreme minimalism of the instrumentation supporting them. Continue Reading »

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Phaedra/Jenny Hval, The Borderline, London, 19/3/2012

themilkman on Mar 20th 2012 01:09 am

Welcome To Norway: Phaedra/Jenny Hval, The Borderline, London, 19/3/2012

Although primarily a cauldron of jazz, noise and electronic experimentations, Rune Grammofon have never shied away from gentler musical forms, most notably with Susanna Wallumrød, with or her Magical Orchestra, or Hilde Marie Kjersem. Last year, the label opened its doors to two more Norwegian female singer songwriters, Ingvild Langgård, who officiates as Phaedra and Jenny Hval, who both delivered stunning, if very different, records (The Sea, a folk odyssey of sort, and Viscera, a much more angular and disconcerting project, respectively). After a false start last year due to a venue double-booking a date, the pair finally hit London this Monday evening at the Borderline in central London. Continue Reading »

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THE 2011 REVIEW

themilkman on Dec 22nd 2011 12:59 pm

The 2011 Review

As another year folds out, it is time once again to look back and take stock or the highs and lows, before a fresh year rolls in. 2011 has had its moments and has overall been a rather good year, and trying to extract a list of twenty albums from the hundreds, thousands possibly, that I have listened to, loved, hated, reviewed or not, tried to make sense of or misunderstood seems a pretty restrictive effort at best. Still, it is always good to look back and realise that some records have made more of a mark than others, some almost imperceptibly. So, here is, in twenty records, what 2011 was made of…

Jenny Hval: Viscera1.

JENNY HVAL
Viscera
Rune Grammofon

 

Review:
There is such urgency throughout this record that it is quite astonishing how Hval manages to retain any lightness in her music, but she does, and [Helge] Sten picks up on just enough to bring it all to life in sprightly bright colours and tones. Continue Reading »

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JENNY HVAL: Viscera (Rune Grammofon)

themilkman on Apr 20th 2011 01:01 am

Jenny Hval: Viscera

JENNY HVAL
Viscera
RCD2108
Rune Grammofon 2011
10 Tracks. 54mins26secs

Amazon UK: CD | LP | DLD US: CD | LP | DLD Boomkat: CD | LP iTunes: DLD

The body, this holiest of temples, is the subject of Jenny Hval’s new album, but it is its most visceral functions and primal organs that are the focus of her attention. Blood, piss, spit, sweat, erections, clitoris, eye sockets, tongues, finger nails, pores and skin, senses are all exposed in the cold light of day, used and abused in every song. Yet, if nothing is too crude or taboo for the Norwegian songstress, Viscera is actually a poetic journey like no other, carried by Hval’s deeply moving voice, part Liz Fraser, part Björk, part Mari Boine, yet totally and utterly unique.

Hval made a name for herself as Rockettothesky, under which banner she released two albums, To Sing You Apple Trees (2006) and Medusa (2008). Viscera is quite a different offering. Continue Reading »

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VARIOUS ARTISTS: Twenty Centuries Of Stony Sleep (Rune Grammofon)

themilkman on Oct 19th 2010 12:57 am

Various Artists: Twenty Centuries Of Stony Sleep

VARIOUS ARTISTS
Twenty Centuries Of Stony Sleep
RCD2100
Rune Grammofon 2010
13 Tracks. 75mins24secs

Amazon UK: CD US: CD | LP Norman Records: CD | LP

Twelve years on from Supersilent’s monumental triple CD debut release, Rune Grammofon have reached a new milestone with this, their hundredth release. Twenty Centuries Of Stony Sleep collects thirteen tracks, twelve of which exclusive to this album, from quite a wide cross-section of the label’s roster, ranging from long-serving acts (Alog, Scorch Trio, Supersilent, Ultralyd, In The Country, Deathprod or Maja Ratjke) to more recent joiners (Espen Eriksen Trio, Puma, Bushman’s Revenge or new signing Jenny Hval).

There are few record labels who have developed such a strong and consistent aesthetic as Rune Grammofon, not only visually, there is not one release which hasn’t had the Kim Hiorthøy treatment, but also through its catalogue, which, in the case of Rune Grammofon stretches from abstract jazz, traditional Scandinavian folk to ambient electronic music and from ethereal pop to avant-garde classical to heavy metal, always with a strong exploratory angle at its core. Continue Reading »

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