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Jenny Hval‘s one of our favorite-favorites, so we were extra pumped when she agreed to give us a little LISTENING PARTY to preview her upcoming shows in New York and DC; she’s at Basilica Hudson on Halloween, 285 Kent on Monday and DC9 on Tuesday, and we should go to as many as possible, obviously. Here’s a little sonic goodness to tide you over in the meantime:

Picture 1313Photo by Karl Edwin Scullin

OSLO OEDIPUS (from Innocence Is Kinky, 2013)


There is this wonderful scene in Do The Right Thing: A loudness war between two ghetto blasters, one playing salsa and one playing Public Enemy’s ”Fight The Power.” I saw the film while making Innocence Is Kinky, about a year ago, and it made such an impression on me that I instantly started working with it. I played the scene over and over again, and wrote a monologue over it – although later it evolved into something else.

In the end, I made this monologue come out of a yodeling track I’d recorded for a sound piece in 2011, inspired by the Heart of Glass soundtrack. I always felt very uncomfortable about this yodeling track, which is why I wanted to use it – it just sounds so traditional and Northern European, ”pure” in a way I can’t help but connect to nationalism. Tradition, when it appears in my own voice, always makes me uncomfortable. Which is why the lyrics are about walking through Oslo on the day after the July 22nd massacre. I think I needed Do The Right Thing to make the words right, I needed the sounds of another city (and another, more upfront and day-to-day ethnic struggle) to write about the hidden struggles of Oslo.

In a strange way, this sudden composition / sound editing, and the discomfort it suggests, makes it the most personal recording on the album.

I STEPPED ON A TOOTHBRUSH (unreleased, 2001)

I love having a good old homepage, and I’ve put up some super old demos there too that I don’t think anyone ever listens to. This song was on my first Rockettothesky album, although in retrospect I don’t ever think I should have tried to re-record it. Just a very early, very fragile pop moment before I ever thought I’d throw a song into the world. In fact I write this in two minds, as I’m now sharing it…

Listen Here


This piece came out of an improv session from around 2006-7 with a KaossPad and ended up on the Viscera album. The title is of course a pun on A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, which I read when I was about 17 and found surprisingly dull (but not as dull as Beckett’s Dream of Fair to Middling Women – I read both back to back, around the time I started getting really sick of reading books about the young, troubled male genious looking at the young, female boobs). To me, this song is a rhythm piece more than anything else, a song of rhythm phrases, directions and language U-turns. Which you can see me listen to in the lovely video by IJ. Biermann.

Remember to grab tickets to the shows, and remember to follow Jenny on Facebook and Twitter!