Preview: Jenny Hval at Cafe 939 9.25.13
by Ben Stas (English/Journalism), published September 18th 2013
Enigmatic Norwegian singer/songwriter Jenny Hval has been releasing intriguingly off-kilter music since 2006, first under the pseudonym Rockettothesky and more recently by her birth name. Don’t let the singer/songwriter tag paint a mental image of a straightforward voice-and-guitar performer; Hval’s style is difficult to define with any precision. Elements of folk underpin her songs, but there’s an experimental, often slightly unsettling side to them as well. Minimal percussion carries momentum while distorted guitars and flashes of noise disrupt plaintive passages, and Hval’s lyrics address some uncomfortable themes with disarming directness. Her latest release is April’s Innocence is Kinky, and she’s about to embark on her very first U.S. tour in support of it.
Boston’s Café 939 will pay host to one of these first U.S. shows next Wednesday, September 25th, and that promises to be a worthwhile experience. Check out a stream of “Mephisto in the Water” from Innoncence is Kinky below: