The Wire

The world's greatest print and online music magazine. Independent since 1982


Jenny Hval shares lead single from new album

The Practice Of Love is released on 13 September by Sacred Bones

Jenny Hval has announced the follow-up album to her 2016 record Blood Bitch. Called The Practice Of Love, advanced word has it that it’s about connecting with others, sharing and empathy. The album, expands Hval, features multiple voices including her own and those of her collaborators Vivian Wang, Laura Jean Englert and Félicia Atkinson. These represent, perhaps, the voices “of someone who was once an angry teenager, furious at the hierarchies, many years later. No longer angry, but still feeling apart from the mainstream... longing for community.

“I wanted to give the feeling of being apart from the world a mystical, but beautiful place, meaning pop songs,” continues Hval. “A place that also contains enough depth to bury oneself in.”

And where does love come into it? “Love as a theme in art has been the domain of the canonised, big artists, and I have always seen myself as a minor character, a voice that speaks of other things,” she replies. “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?"

Listen to the lead track “Ashes To Ashes”. Jenny Hval was on the cover of The Wire 391. Subscribers can read that issue on Exact Editions. She'll perform at London Barbican on 29 September.