“Some days I feel like my body is straightened/Held up by thin braces/Metal spikes embrace my spine/My face/My cunt/I can feel myself up from above…”

Jenny Hval has taken storytelling lyrics to another level, mostly inspired by haunting dreams:

“I think I’ve been writing this song since about 1986. Because when I was really young I had a dream that my vagina had braces. For a long time, it (‘Sabbath’) was a monologue with a heavy drum loop and I had no idea what it was or why. It was just a galloping urge to say something. And then the chorus appeared. It’s like a mother; it just wants you to be happy. I really wanted to create something soft and loving. And I think it’s really catchy. Which is also very mothering, a mother catches you.” explains the Norwegian artist.

Vagina braces? We’re liking this girl already. Nothing quite like a kooky creative with truth serum on tap. Hval’s lyrics makes you sit up and listen, like really listen.

“I watched the film Daisies (Czechoslovak New Wave CLASSIC), while we were recording the album, and now when I think of Sabbath I think of the two main characters in that film. Daisies is hyper surreal and an extraordinary mix of politics and desire.

I open with saying ‘I dream I’m a boy’, but the song is very much about girls. Girls playing, dreaming, singing, transforming. Girls speaking to and for everyone.”

‘Sabbath’ is the second single from forthcoming album, Apocalypse, Girl, which is due out on June 8th via Sacred Bones.

If unorthodox, transgressive pop is your thing, with a heavy dose of intimate lyrics, then Apocalypse, Girl will definitely hit the mark.

Hval will be supporting Perfume Genius across North America, plus a London show on June 10th at Queen Elizabeth Hall, followed by a series of tour dates throughout the summer.

04-07 – Oslo, NO @ Black Box Teater – Apocalypse, girl expanded concerts
10 – London, UK @ Royal Festival Hall w/ Perfume Genius
11 – Manchester, UK @ Gullivers
12 – Brighton, UK @ The Hope & The Ruin
13 – Cardiff, UK @ Clwb Ifor Bach
14 – London, UK @ Cafe Oto
17 – Amsterdam, NL @ Muziekgebouw
18 – Brussels, BE @ Botanique
19 – Paris, FR @ Espace B
20 – Cologne, DE @ Stadtgarten w/ Circuit de Yeux
22 – Berlin, DE @ Kantine am Berghain w/ Circuit de Yeux
23 – Hamburg, DE @ Kampnagel w/ Circuit de Yeux
24 – Copenhagen, DK @ Jazzhouse w/ Circuit de Yeux

First single from the album, ‘That Battle Is Over’, comes as an instant free download with all iTunes pre-orders.


Words: Sarah Hardy
Photo: Jenny Berger Myhre