Folkadelphia Session: Jenny Hval

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Sawtooth synthesizers, moody atmospherics, effected vocals, hypnotic drum patterns – these are not the elements that you normally associate with folk music or singer-songwriters. But there is nothing normal about the times that we’re living in. I know I frequently get on this blog-shaped pulpit and preach about how the boundaries of genre are too constricting in an age where musicians are blending, mashing, mixing, and manipulating sounds. Swap out a banjo for a drum machine, what’s the big deal?

Enter Jenny Hval, a Norwegian artist, musician, and poet, who brings along those synths and effected vocals and everything else to create sounds that are extraordinary. So what’s she doing on our show? Good question. Besides bringing you a platform to hear up-and-coming folk acts, we also want to inform you about truly imaginitive and smart songwriters. Last year when I heard Jenny Hval’s Innocence Is Kinky, I knew we had found an exciting artist and that you, dear reader, needed to hear her. Be advised: Hval doesn’t pull punches – she goes right for the gut with her words. Her songs have a penchant for shocking imagery, provocative language, and raw music to match (as well as potentially NSFW visuals). I’m not sure what you’ll feel listening to her music, but you’ll definitely feel something. I think that’s a rare quality nowadays and we’re here to celebrate it.

Jenny Hval recorded this Folkadelphia Session on November 8th, 2013 before her show at the Boot & Saddle. She returns to Philadelphia on May 15th to support Swans at Union Transfer.

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