Jenny Hval explores intimacy and pop on new album The Practice of Love, shares single “Ashes to Ashes”

Jenny Hval explores intimacy and pop on new album The Practice of Love, shares single "Ashes to Ashes"
Jenny Hval before her timeout (photo: Lasse Marhaug)

If Blood Bitch was a “complete 180°” from Jenny Hval’s previous album, Apocalypse, girl, then what should we consider a new release that promises major-scale pop songs underscored by thematic love and intimacy in the occasional self-described “greeting card” sense of the concept?

Perhaps we’ll be able to justify the stylistic shift with a better term on September 13, when Hval’s new album The Practice of Love is released via Sacred Bones. Although Hval has heretofore exuded a penchant for musical depth and metaphor, The Practice of Love is being touted as her most poetic album to date. Unabashed electronic beats are expected to propel lyrics that examine love in all its variations, though one particular variation was on her mind as she recorded the new album, which has vocal contributions from Vivian Wang, Laura Jean, and Félicia Atkinson. Here’s the principal in her own words:

This all sounds very clichéd, like a standard greeting card expression, but for me, love, and the practice of love, has been deeply tied to the feeling of otherness. Love as a theme in art has been the domain of the canonized, big artists, and I have always seen myself as a minor character, a voice that speaks of other things. But in the last few years I have wanted to take a closer look at the practice of otherness, this fragile performance, and how it can express love, intimacy, empathy and desire. I have wanted to ask bigger, wider, kind of idiotic questions like: What is our job as a member of the human race? Do we have to accept this job, and if we don’t, does the pressure to be normal ever stop?

A pre-order, alongside the above, might be worthy of a mull. Meanwhile, check out the album’s lead single, “Ashes to Ashes,” here:

The Practice of Love tracklist:

01. Lions (feat. Vivian Wang)
02. High Alice
03. Accident (feat. Laura Jean)
04. The Practice of Love (feat. Laura Jean & Vivian Wang)
05. Ashes To Ashes
06. Thumbsucker (feat. Félicia Atkinson & Laura Jean)
07. Six Red Cannas (feat. Vivian Wang, Félicia Atkinson & Laura Jean)
08. Ordinary (feat. Vivian Wang & Félicia Atkinson)

Most Read