Sometimes in life we’re fortunate enough to take in a piece of music as a thing which holds every single component to the highest standard of accountability and creates a beautiful soundscape for – of course its composer, and the listener as well – to revisit frequently, picking out little nuances with every listening…
Like falling in love with someone over and over again, for centuries.
So that’s pretty deep and heavy, right? Of course it is. People don’t say things like that unless they’re deeply and heavily moved. We wax poetic about people, art, and whatever it is we find beautiful enough to attempt a likewise beautiful description. Hey, I have college degrees in this kind of stuff – I fucking live for it. I’m also serious, and moved to tears by “Spells” – the first track on Jenny Hval’s The Long Sleep.
I literally fucking cried listening to this song… it’s beautiful.
Also, to me it’s symphonic-thick with those little nuances to be discovered as more prominent with every listen. I re-listened to it a few times before moving on – I didn’t want it to end.
The first chorus picks up this lovely prominent higher-pitched (but just as lush) keyboard part that (fucking perfect timing on the visual in the clip, by the way) leads me down some corridor which broadens with this fucking magical glow coming from its end, lifted by the vocal – which is at once an effective lead in what’s being communicated, and no more/no less important than the entire composition.
I’m humbled by this music. I’m utterly fucking serious. And it only gets better.
“The Dreamer is Everyone in Her Dream” gives me that feeling one gets in the throat that rips upward to the temple and down to the heart, creating a wave of sadness that’s a soothing, comforting kind of sad… like if you’ve lost someone, and the void could celebrate her beauty in a voice of mourning. The beginning vocal and immediate first notes on the piano weave together this fucking angelic poetry of delicacy, fragility, and beauty that radiates an even more powerful strength – and again, every part is equally as potent: The lyrics are a song unto itself.
“The Dreamer is Everyone in Her Dream”
The third piece, “The Long Sleep” makes me nostalgic for an ambient music show in a loft or sparsely attended speakeasy show, where the performers, side conversations, and every other little sound make the experience wonderful. There’s a kind of synesthesia that manifests itself in dark kaleidoscopic colors when I listen to this song. I want to fall asleep to it – there’s a bedtime story in it that goes somewhere pretty goddamn cool, I’ll bet. Perfect backdrop for one of those semi-lucid dreams that are able to be paused, restarted, and further embellished upon, as is the entire eponymous work.
“The Long Sleep”
Okay, so this album – a fucking EP, no less… and no more, no less long or short than was necessary – this awesome, divine work of art created by this powerful voice of intensity and intelligence? I can only hope again in my humbleness that I’ve gotten anything near the message that voice was trying to explain.
Feels like in the outro track we’re hearing a sort of summation of that in her speaking
It’s just at the very end we realize it’s in our own heads to interpret… and as grateful as I am for this beautiful, amazing work of powerful emotion, it’s at that very end that Jenny Hval says,
“I want to tell you something.
“Thank you… I love you.”
“I Want to Tell You Something”
Thank you for creating and sharing this exquisite work, Jenny Hval.
I love it.
- which looks a very comprehensive and full of music artist’s website that I haven’t even begun to look at tour dates on yet. PLANNING TO.
I’m blown away by this music. Maybe everyone should be. Give it a try.
BA Psychology and BA Philosophy. Fairly useless degrees, but my education has bettered my ability to analyze people’s behaviors and describe them in flowery metaphors.
I play the banjo too. Maybe I just like being annoying.