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Jenny Hval The Practice of Love

The Practice of Love
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Inspired by Valie Export's film of the same name, Jenny Hval reshapes her art pop for The Practice of Love. A meticulous pop atmosphere is on display, with guest vocalists like Félicia Atkinson, Laura Jean and Vivian Wang embellishing the songs.

Lead single 'Ashes to Ashes' warps from lamentation into catharsis, as wings sprout from old scars, the ability of flight painfully obtained. The arpeggio-heavy atmosphere of 'Six Red Cannas' drones to the brushstrokes of Georgia O'Keeffe paintings. The recurring theme of women in art, and their battles to break through and stay in the spotlight, pulses through the veins of the album.

Hval's albums always feel like audio paintings

The conversation in 'The Practice of Love' pulses like a field recording of a dialogue between the different personas inhabiting Hval's psyche. One feels like an interloper during a crucial decision taken after considering all possibilities at once, a sort of Lola Rennt situation. Pairing the gorgeous 'Thumbsucker' with this conversation weaves a rich tapestry of emotions.

Hval's albums always feel like audio paintings. The carnage that took place in her previous release, Blood Bitch, was akin to an apocalyptic John Martin painting. Conversely, The Practice of Love is like a picturesque, tranquil John Constable of lush vegetation, vibrant life and a storm fading in the distance, with a De Stijl pattern bleeding through if you stare at it long enough.

Sam J. Valdés López

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