Jenny Hval (born 11 July 1980) is a Norwegian singer-songwriter, record producer, musician, and novelist. She has released eight solo albums, two under the alias Rockettothesky and six under her own name.
|Birth name||Jenny Hval|
|Also known as||Rockettothesky (2006–2008)|
|Born||11 July 1980|
In 2015, Hval released her fifth studio album, Apocalypse, Girl, to widespread critical acclaim. The following year, she released Blood Bitch, a concept album influenced by vampires, menstruation and 1970s horror films.
Until 1999, Hval was the vocalist of a gothic metal band called Shellyz Raven. She studied at the University of Melbourne, Australia, specializing in creative writing and performance. While studying, she was vocalist in Australian bands iPanic and Folding For Air with Thomas McGowan releasing an EP "Are you afraid of heights?" in 2004.
Moving back to Norway, she released her debut EP Cigars in 2006, and was nominated for a Spellemannprisen (the Norwegian equivalent of Grammy awards) in the "best newcomer" category. Adopting the name Rockettothesky, she was signed to Trust Me Records, releasing two studio albums – To Sing You Apple Trees in 2006, and Medea in 2008.
Following the release of Medea, she went back to using her birth name. Signing on the label Rune Grammofon, she released the albums Viscera (2011) and Innocence Is Kinky (2013). In 2015 she released her third album, Apocalypse, Girl on New York City's Sacred Bones Records. Her solo music has been described as avant-garde, art-pop, and "a kind of experimental folk music," among other terms. She has also collaborated with Håvard Volden, as Nude on Sand, releasing a self-titled album in 2012, and with Susanna Wallumrød, which resulted in a 2014 album Meshes of Voice (released on Wallumrød's SusannaSonata label). She supported St. Vincent on a tour.
In 2016 she released the album Blood Bitch where she collaborates with Lasse Marhaug. The album was awarded the Phonofile Nordic Music Prize in 2017. The judges released a statement calling the album "engrossing, atmospheric, challenging and thought-provoking."
In 2018 she collaborated with Håvard Volden again under the name Lost Girls, to release an EP entitled Feeling. The duo's name was inspired by the eponymous graphic novel.
In September 2019, Hval released her seventh album, The Practice of Love, featuring guest vocals from Vivian Wang, formerly of the psych rock band The Observatory, Australian singer-songwriter Laura Jean, and French experimental musician Félicia Atkinson. Hval had intended a tour to promote the album, but cancelled the North American shows due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2021, Lost Girls released their first full-length LP, Menneskekollektivet. The album was received to "universal acclaim," according to aggregate review website Metacritic.
Style and influences
Hval was influenced by the androgyny in 1980s pop music. In particular, she was inspired by the music video for Kate Bush's song Cloudbusting, which features Bush as a young boy; Hval has expressed her admiration for the English musician's ability to write from many different perspectives. In her Master's thesis, "The Singing Voice as Literature," Hval explored the sound poetry of Kate Bush's music, analysing the lyrics and music together, instead of as separate parts of a song.
Hval's spoken-word delivery has been compared to Laurie Anderson's music.
After studying literature and working as a freelance columnist and writer, Jenny Hval published her novel Perlebryggeriet (Pearl Brewery) in 2009. An English edition, titled Paradise Rot: A Novel, was translated by Marjam Idriss and published by Verso Books in October 2018. Her second work, Inn i ansiktet (Into the Face), was published in Norway in October 2012. Hval published her third novel, Å hate Gud (To Hate God), in 2018, which also received a translation into English by Marjam Idriss and was published by Verso Books under the title Girls Against God in October 2020.
|Title||Album details||Peak chart positions|
|To Sing You Apple Trees||
As Jenny Hval
|Title||Album details||Peak chart positions|
|Innocence Is Kinky||
|Meshes of Voice
(with Susanna Wallumrød)
|In the End His Voice Will Be the Sound of Paper
(with Trondheim Jazz Orchestra & Kim Myhr)
|The Practice of Love||—|
With Lost Girls
With Nude on Sand
|Nude on Sand||
With Lost Girls
As Jenny Hval
|The Long Sleep||
- Bergan, Jon Vidar (6 January 2017). "Jenny Hval". Store norske leksikon (in Norwegian). Retrieved 9 January 2017.
- "Album Review". pitchfork.com. Retrieved 16 February 2021.
- "Jenny Hval Website". JennyHval.com. Archived from the original on 26 December 2014. Retrieved 26 December 2014.
- Wallace, Wyndham (12 January 2010). "Jenny And The Jets: The Musical Universe of Rockettothesky". TheQuietus.com. Retrieved 26 December 2014.
- Beaumont-Thomas, Ben (18 April 2013). "Singer Jenny Hval: 'I'm so cruel'". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
- Mapes, Jillian (12 June 2015). "Jenny Hval 'Apocalypse, girl' Album Review". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
- Hutchinson, Kate (4 June 2015). "Jenny Hval: Apocalypse, Girl review – provocative, compelling art-pop". the Guardian. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
- Crawford, Anwen (22 June 2015). "Jenny Hval's Experimental, Feminist Folk Music". The New Yorker. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
- "Jenny Hval Announces New Album Apocalypse, girl". Pitchfork. 25 February 2015. Retrieved 27 October 2021.
- Pelly, Jenn (4 October 2016). "Jenny Hval: Blood Bitch Album Review". pitchfork.com. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
- "Jenny Hval Wins 2017 Nordic Music Prize". Pitchfork. Retrieved 11 March 2019.
- Pelly, Jenn (8 March 2018). "Lost Girls: Feeling EP". Pitchfork. Retrieved 28 December 2018.
- "Jenny Hval and Håvard Volden announce new collaboration Lost Girls". Fact Magazine. 5 February 2018. Retrieved 26 October 2021.
- Pelly, Jenn (16 September 2019). "How Dried Figs, Norwegian Coffee, and Rotting Porn Magazines Inspired Jenny Hval's The Practice of Love". Pitchfork. Retrieved 22 September 2019.
- "Jenny Hval Announces 2020 Tour". Pitchfork. 28 October 2019. Retrieved 17 October 2021.
- "Jenny Hval on Instagram: "Today I am postponing our upcoming North American tour. I'm really sorry to have to do this, but of course, there is no other way. The…"". Instagram. Archived from the original on 25 December 2021. Retrieved 17 October 2021.
- Menneskekollektivet by Lost Girls, retrieved 17 October 2021
- "Confronting: Jenny Hval - 'Everyday Life Through A Pedalboard Of Effects'". NBHAP (in German). 9 June 2015. Retrieved 26 October 2021.
- "Singer Jenny Hval: 'I'm so cruel'". the Guardian. 18 April 2013. Retrieved 26 October 2021.
- "We ran willingly, horse-like, girl-like, boy-like. Her voice neighing in the back of her throat, and when I came closer we collided and kissed in the passing, on the mouth, like horses do. I said, her thin lips over enamel and steel. I felt the outline of her braces against my own, little silver arms reaching for each other". Genius. Retrieved 26 October 2021.
- "Jenny Hval & Lawrence Kumpf | ISSUE Project Room". issueprojectroom.org. Retrieved 26 October 2021.
- "Lost Girls Menneskekollektivet". The New Yorker. Retrieved 27 October 2021.
- "Jenny Hval". Pitchfork. Retrieved 27 October 2021.
- Hval, Jenny. Paradise rot: a novella. Idriss, Marjam (English-language ed.). London. ISBN 9781786633835. OCLC 1043955944.
- Hval, Jenny (2012). Inn i ansiktet. Norway: Forlaget Oktober. ISBN 9788249510559.
- Hval, Jenny (2020). Girls Against God. Verso Books. ISBN 9781788738958.
- Hval, Jenny. "more work – Jenny Hval". Jenny Hval. Retrieved 6 October 2020.
- "Rockettothesky discography". Norwegiancharts.com. Hung Medien. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
- "VG List – Top 40 Albums Week 9, 2011". VG-lista. Archived from the original on 5 August 2017. Retrieved 5 August 2017.
- "Jenny Hval discography". Norwegiancharts.com. Hung Medien. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
- @jennyhval (10 July 2019). "New album The Practice of Love will be out September 13th! Single is out today. It's called Ashes To Ashes and is not a cover. I have a lot of things to share with you about this record, but for now, I leave you with this. Love and link 🐉: youtu.be/7Bq5s2oRp24" (Tweet). Retrieved 10 July 2019 – via Twitter.
- Hussey, Allison (18 January 2022). "Jenny Hval Announces New Album Classic Objects, Shares Video for New Song "Year of Love": Watch". Pitchfork. Retrieved 18 January 2022.
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