Jenny Hval announces new album & shares video for new single “Year of Love”

Norwegian musician and novelist Jenny Hval has announced the release of her new album Classic Objects, out on March 11th, and today she has shared the video for new single “Year of Love“, the album’s opener. Classic Objects is a map of places; past places, like the old empty Melbourne pubs Hval’s band used to play in, public places Hval missed throughout lockdown, imagined, future places, and impossible places where dreams, hallucinations, death and art can take you. It is interested in combining heavenly things and plain things.

“Year of Love” is based on a true story of a proposal happening in front of Hval while she was performing a few years ago. “For me, this experience was very troubling,” says Hval. “It confronted me with the fact that I am also married. What does that detail from my private life say about me as an artist? ‘Year of Love’ asks, who am I as an artist? Do my private actions betray my work and voice?

The accompanying video was directed by Hval, Jenny Berger Myhre, and Annie Bielski. The three elaborate on the video: “A sense of loss and joy intertwines in a world of disconnected rooms. The artist inhabits these rooms. She is frozen in time, space, and mid-vowel. She is aware of her immediate surroundings. She is aware that there is more beyond what she can see. A version of her exists in a compressed, compromised, and objectified state. She is sitting in a room, in a house, in a neighbourhood, in the art industry.

Listen to “Year of Love” and watch the video for it below:

In 2020, like everyone else, I was just a private person,” says Hval. “No artists were allowed to perform. I was reduced to ‘just me.’” As a result, Hval questioned what “just me” could mean. Was it the version that never got away from her hometown? Was it the idea that there is an obvious truth behind a work of art? Is art nothing but a fancy, difficult construct, and one that is not really necessary?

As an exercise, Hval wrote straight-forward stories about life, investigating the stripped-down “just me” concept. She had been “just me” before too, when at 24, while living in Australia, she was diagnosed with celiac disease and could no longer begin her music career in the way she had foreseen. “Although I would not say I have a disability, just an invisible complication, this revealed to me the impossible expectations of physical ableness from the music industry, or any industry relying upon a precarious workforce,” says Hval. “It revealed to me how little the human experience and its diversity is valued in music, which in turn revealed that it’s not really a very sustainable or even relevant form of expression.

Classic Objects, however, is not about these things. But when Hval started writing stories that eventually became this record, the pandemic hit and she remembered these specific times in her life, these phases of feeling completely stripped of value. Hval elaborates: “This made me want to write simple stories. My problem was that I found that the music component in the writing process made the words stray from their path and even jump into the absurd. I think it is just bound to happen when there is music involved. After all, a song isn’t just words, it has a melody, and the reason we have melodies is to step into the dark and jump off cliffs.

Classic Objects artwork & tracklist:

1. Year of Love
2. American Coffee
3. Classic Objects
4. Cemetery of Splendour
5. Year of Sky
6. Jupiter
7. Freedom
8. The Revolution Will Not Be Owned

In addition to her Spring North American tour, Hval has announced 10 European live dates preceding it. See all tour dates below:

Fri. 11 March –OSLO, NO, Munchmuseet
Thu. 17 March –BERGEN, NO, Kulturhuset | Bergen
Fri. 18 March–STAVANGER, NO, Tou Scene
Sat. 26 March–TRONDHEIM, NO, Dokkhuset
Tue. 5 April–STOCKHOLM, SE, Fasching
Wed. 6 April–COPENHAGEN, DK, Bremen Teater
Thu. 7 April–BERLIN, DE, Columbia Theater
Sat. 9 April –BRUSSELS, BE, BRDCST Festival
Tue. 11 April–LONDON, GB, EartH
Wed. 13 April –PARIS, FR, La GaîtéLyrique
Mon. 9 May –BOSTON, MA, Arts at the Armory
Tue. 10 May –BROOKLYN, NY, Elsewhere
Fri. 13 May–WASHINGTON, DC, Miracle Theatre
Sat. 14 May –COLUMBUS, OH, Skully’s
Sun. 15 May –CHICAGO, IL, Constellation
Mon. 16 May–CHICAGO, IL, Constellation
Tue. 17 May–TORONTO, ON, Lee’s Palace
Fri. 20 May–SEATTLE, WA, Neumos
Sat. 21 May –PORTLAND, OR, Holocene
Tue. 24 May – OAKLAND, CA, Starline Social Club
Wed. 25 May –LOS ANGELES, CA, Lodge Room
Sat. 4 June –BARCELONA, ES, Primavera

Photo credit: Jenny Berger Myhre
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