Norwegian artist/writer Jenny Hval and multi-instrumentalist Håvard Volden make meditative, experimental music together as Lost Girls, and Menneskekollektivet (which translates to human collective) is their first full-length. Fraying the seams of Hval’s solo stylings—ambient/electro-pop anchored by intimate singing with soliloquies—here, the mood is more exploration and improvisation. And it certainly is a mood. The 12-minute title track opens with soft, existential contemplations spoken over protracted synth notes (“We are/And sound hugs our bodies”), eventually giving way to a hypnotic dance beat, Hval’s otherworldly voice singing in fragments until it’s the last bare, unvarnished sound. In the space between utopian and dystopian, “Losing Something” opens slowly like a night-blooming flower, Volden’s guitar climbing up through the shadows as the album’s most memorable pop refrain emerges. Elsewhere, the fourth wall drops entirely as Hval thinks aloud, reflecting on her lyrical process amidst whooshing synthesizers and a mutating drum program. It’s a captivating snapshot exploring both the complexity and simplicity of the human experience.
By Emily Nokes
This article originally appeared in the Spring 2021 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!
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