The follow-up to Jenny Hval’s acclaimed 2016 album Blood Bitch is “The Long Sleep,” an adventurous new EP that sees the Norwegian multidisciplinary artist embracing an instinctive, even subconscious, approach to creating meaning. In contrast to Hval’s more explicitly conceptual work, “The Long Sleep” foregrounds the act of composition itself, letting the melodies and structures reveal the other elements of the songs. All of the songs on the EP recycle the same compositional motives, but manipulate them into very different shapes that take them further and further out of their original, “life-like” context.
Hval recorded “The Long Sleep” with longtime collaborator Håvard Volden and producer Lasse Marhaug, along with an ace new supporting cast of talented players from the jazz world — Kyrre Laastad on percussion, Anja Lauvdal on piano, Espen Reinertsen on saxophone, and Eivind Lønning on trumpet. Hval calls them some of her favorite contemporary musicians, and their musical background helps to give the songs on “The Long Sleep” their intuitive, improvised feel.
“Blood Bitch confirms her singular methodology is now at its most surgically precise and bold. In realising her uncontainable ambitions, one might even suggest it represents Hval’s coming of age.” – 8/10 Uncut
The Norwegian avant-gardist’s most atmospheric and filmic album draws on several traditions: vampire movies, the cross-hairs of art and pop, and the lineage of artwork made of menstrual blood. – Pitchfork 8.3 (best new music)