Tuesday 13 August 2019

Jenny Hval - High Alice

Last month I posted commentary on "Ashes to Ashes", the first single from Jenny Hval's upcoming album, The Practice of Love. In her latest single, "High Alice", Hval continues to wade into gentler pop territory, and she continues to explore 90's-nostalgia-inducing sound design. A soft synth reverberates throughout the track as Hval wispily recounts an Alice in Wonderland inspired tale. A looped Massive Attack type beat glues together the various strands.

Hval attaches special significance to this song for setting the tone of the album:

“For a while, this song felt like my entire album. I had no idea what the rest of it would be, just a feeling like this song and the title, the two words ‘High Alice,’ would get me there. My guiding stars at the time were Clarice Lispector’s The Hour of the Star and Kylie Minogue’s ‘Confide in Me.’ Maybe High Alice is the narrator of this album. I don’t know how I wrote it, it was automatic. But I found it really funny that I mentioned the sea three times. High Alice goes to all the places I have taught myself to avoid, like the four Big Themes: Love, death, life, the ocean. The ocean. The ocean.”

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