Album Review: Jenny Hval’s Blood Bitch


Jenny Hval’s latest album ‘Blood Bitch’ is not for the fainthearted and doesn’t just focus on the musical elements of her tracks but instead the sensory and visual.

The Norwegian artist started releasing her unique creations in 2006 under the alias, “Rockettothesky.”  Her debut E.P, Cigars, was awarded a Spellemannprisen (Norwegian equivalent to a Grammy) in the “best newcomer” category.

Blood Bitch is as personal as it gets! It reveals the immense emotion and pain in Hval’s life and by no means conforms to easy listening.

Blood Bitch furthers Hval’s abstract and eerily dark thoughts such as the theme of blood. She writes about the loss of life through periods and how vampires desire this. Hval was recently featured on the BBC News website for her controversial thoughts on celebrating periods.

Blood Bitch is as persona as it gets! It reveals the immense emotion and pain in Hval’s life and by no means conforms to easy listening. For example, the third song on the album ‘In the Red’ consists of  lyrics “It hurts/ everywhere”.

Also intertwined strongly within this album are themes of feminism and sexuality. At the rare moments where the accompanying music is the focus, you can hear the synth mimicking cheesy 90’s dance pop and experimental electronica.

Hval’s sounds don’t conform to a pattern like most popular artists, however she does return to ideas of pain, rejection and lust throughout.

There is shouting, gasping, heavy breathing, intense silences and uneasy speaking. Despite this her lyrics can be darkly humorous at times! In the six-minute explorative piece, ‘The Plague’, Jenny sings “Last night I took my birth control with rosé,” and “You’ve got birth under control.”

Blood Bitch’s final track, ‘Lorna’, directly refers to vampires and she describes how biting other woman is a form of pleasure via desire. Again, this relates back to the theme of getting high off pain and hurt.

In a recent interview with ‘Thump Magazine’, Jenny described her latest album as “lonely” and explains how it reflects her wild road through the music industry in the past year.

She describes the likeness between her and vampires, with the music industry being similar in that it is obsessed with youth, making her feel old in comparison, despite only being 36.

In summary, ‘Blood Bitch’ acts as Hval’s window of insight into the intimate and raw emotions of her life. Slightly crossing over the borders into sadistic and masochistic realms, this album will definitely open your eyes of her intense suffering and feelings. You may only need to listen to it once, but consider it like you would abstract art: reviewed with an open mind and a desire to learn from the different elements and noises that go into creating its unique sound.

Track 4: Conceptual Romance