Lost Girls


Smalltown Supersound • 2023

»Like people constantly not bumping into each other/as if the world actually doesn’t want us to hurt each other«, Jenny Hval sings about a »choreography of life« on the opening track, which on its own is an excellent example of the deeply confused, but always new paths that the Norwegian musician and writer takes in sound and lyrics, both in theory and in practice. This is also the case on »Selvutsletter«, the second album she and her partner, guitarist Håvard Volden, have released as Lost Girls on Smalltown Supersound. Driving beats and flickering riffs once again pay homage to her aversion to conventional song structures, for example when the sizzling dance track »Jeg Slutter Meg Selv«, which is more than a little reminiscent of Tangerine Dream, slowly recedes at its most stirring moment. Or when microtonal synths meet alien-like noises and somnambulistic vocals on the almost 10-minute long »Seawhite«. The fact that the duo composes in different spaces, sending audio drafts back and forth and only working out the details together at the end, gives the songs a peculiar immediacy: They sound like the formulated perception of movement between space and time. Hval and Volden’s idiosyncrasy can be both avant-garde and very catchy, as »With the Other Hand« proves. Volden created the song’s riff as a homage to Leonard Cohen. The fact that Hval’s beguiling vocals win the listener over before the riff begins makes the song a feminist development of the romanticism that Leonard Cohen stands for.