West Coast tour begins tonight

My West Coast North American tour begins tonight. It’s strange to be touring in the middle of these pitch black political times. Hopefully, it’s also meaningful and a way of coming together. Hopefully it’s a place to really experience something.

When I made Blood Bitch, one of the most pressing thoughts was shaped by the Adam Curtis sample that plays over the track Untamed Region, which is from a documentary about, among other things, how political leaders in countries like Russia and the UK (and now also America) use theories of confusion and disillution to oppress an entire nation of people. Curtis shows how these theories are taken straight from avant-garde art movements. I was thinking: How could the strategies of so much beautiful and strange and revolutionary art movements be adapted so easily to the machines of power and capitalism? And if the work of revolutionary art is so easily adapted to power, what is the future of, and value of, contemporary art?

I think this question lead me to connect with underrated, “bad” cult movies like the films of Jess Franco. I connected with subcultural art that in many ways was considered bad art, or soft art, art that didn’t shock and was even hard to take seriously for film critics. The films are constantly compromised (by shady film production companies, producers, low budgets, and the strange, very personal desires of the filmmaker), and many of them have been seen as less powerful films. Films with lo-fi images, unrealised desires and makeshift locations and dialogues that fail to create the illusion we’ve learnt we need to believe in.

This type of art is perhaps overlooked because its strategies are too imprecise, too mundane (too human?). But perhaps this is also art that is useless to the politics of power? I was thinking to myself: What kind of desire lies in this imprecision, which possibilities? Is there something, somewhere, that power in the time of Neo-capitalism can overlook? A place to create a different language?

It sounds silly, and perhaps this was a naive search. I don’t think I’m trying to answer these questions directly on Blood Bitch. But I am going through something in these songs, emotionally and artistically, that is related to these questions. And for what it’s worth, I feel this is incredibly relevant to go through at the moment. In addition to coming together, expressing our fears and creating open, revolutionary communities.

skjermbilde-2016-11-11-14-17-08

conceptual romance video

I just really want you to see this one.

Directed by Zia Anger
Cinematography by Jason Marlow and Billy Feldman
Production Design by Caiti Hawkins
Produced/Skin Suits by Annie Bielski

Innocence is Kinky Runner / Zia Anger
Workout Ball Woman / Jenny Hval
That Battle is Over Mother & Child / Cornelia Livingston & Georgia
Blood Bitches /  Destefano DeLuise , Julie Hackett, Shanekia McIntosh
“Artist” / Annie Bielski

Thank You: Frances Sultan, Adam Weinert, Nick & Christina, Theo Anthony

Also, Zia wrote a beautiful director’s statement:

To be reborn in a womb of dirt that once was a grave of death. When I was a tiny child I saw my mother do a performance piece where she wore a skin suit just like the ones in the video. It really disturbed me, to have others see my mother ‘naked.’

We’ve moved from complete and total censorship to a world where you can commodify your body if you resemble a certain ideal. Some people have a choice in this, others do not.

We found toy versions of some of the most oppressive, exclusive, phallic equipment there is (a drone and a steady cam) and decided to see what we could make with them.

Let’s unchain ourselves from our Instagram, our carefully curated images and self-commodification, trendy record labels, and fancy cameras.

conceptual romance

Chord changes, melodic phrases and rhythmic pulses can have mystical qualities. They can tell you things words alone couldn’t: In a flash they explain to your heart that you really are broken, or that you really are dying (sooner or later). But they also have a strong desire to tell you that it’s okay, that you can feel better. They are a way to make sense of your own impermanence. The key is in the change of chords or notes, the restlessness of moving on. The strength of a song is its fragility.

Conceptual Romance is one of these songs. It could be making sense of impermanence, failure and overlooked artwork, but it could also be making sense of the eternal. A floor plan of eternity. A love song for a vampire stuck in erotic self-oscillation. Or maybe just myself.

Here:

or Soundcloud here.

female vampire video

Female vampires of the world, take over.

Directed by Jenny Berger Myhre
Concept by Orfee Schuijt, Lasse Marhaug, Jenny Berger Myhre and Jenny Hval
Performed by Jenny Hval, Orfee Schuijt, Anja Lauvdal, Heiða Karine Jóhannesdóttir Mobeck, Ingrid Haakstad, Sigrid Marie Kittelsaa Vesaas, Marianne Skjeldal

Much, much <3 <3 to all the all the people credited above (that are not me)!

I wrote something about it: What does eternity feel like? How do you ‘live’ when there is no death? Usually, the vampire is depicted as a lonesome, all-knowing and ancient creature combining violence, aggressive sexuality and deceitful youth. The pack behind the video for ‘Female Vampire’ wanted to explore vampiric eternity in a different narrative: in a group of romancing friends. The vampire friends move through their hometown of Oslo, partaking in public and private rituals of moving together. We also wanted to combine ideas from old vampire trash movies and modern trashy iPhone videos, resulting in an enigmatic world of time-lapse like slow motion where everything is always moving, or moving on. Not there, or not there yet.

BLOOD BITCH

What? New album? Yes.
BLOOD BITCH IS COMING. SEPTEMBER 30th.

Click here to listen to first single Female Vampire:

Female Vampire is a hunting song, a scene in which a vampire looks for fresh blood on the dancefloor. This vampire is timeless, but also contemporary. She feels old, but is also struck by restlessness and boredom. She’s tired of killing but can’t help feeling bloodlust.

experimental cannon fodder

“Apocalypse, girl” is OUT in the world via Sacred Bones Records and Su Tissue (NO) and gets a lot of love on best of 2015 lists. What a year it’s been. Can’t thank my band and audiences + everyone who helped us out enough!

The tender Apocalypse continues into 2016 in Australia, and in Norway.

Meanwhile: Celebrating! Always!

KANON

Also, “Meshes of Voice”, my collaboration with the wonderful Susanna, is now out on limited edition vinyl! Order a copy here.

“Meshes of Voice” by Susanna and I won the Norwegian Grammy in “Åpen Klasse” (Open Category)! We were very surprised and grateful and very, very close to completely speechless. Thanks to everybody who were involved in the project, both back in 2009 (when it was a concert piece) and for the 2014 record!