Vampires. Love. Sex. Gender. Death. Blood. These are some frequented themes in Jenny Hval‘s work. Formerly known as Rockettothesky, Jenny Hval has released numerous albums under her name. Her performance at Flow Festival 2017 was following her latest album Blood Bitch on Sacred Bones Records. Before her set, rain started pouring down outside. People trying to stay dry rushed into the tent. Soon after she started playing, she dismissed everyone because the rain had died down. Despite this gesture of humbleness from her, most of the crowd stayed and listened to her fizzy synthesizers, bass-lines and abstract words. Audience members taking photos or videos filmed people on stage with their phones out filming the audience. There was a projection of this visual loop projected behind the performers on stage.
As Jenny’s music shifted and turned, she wrote a love letter on a computer screen. Towards the end of her set, possibly because of her unconventional approach to sound and words, she told the audience she was impressed that they made it through the whole thing.
Her words and sounds made a lasting impression on me, and time spent afterward unpacking the experience of her live show (as well as listening to her previous records) has proven valuable.
Text: Alex Brown
Photo: Gloria De Felice