Part 18 of a 20 part rundown of my favourite tracks of 2015
Another track I wrote about in Wanton Miscellany #2, That Battle is Over stayed on my ‘current listening’ spotify playlist for pretty much the whole year. I never did quite get into Apocalypse, Girl as a whole but this track was amongst the most startlingly brilliant things I heard all year.
If it wasn’t for me watching this video on whim me and Jenny Hval’s work would never have gotten along. I tried listening to Apocalypse, Girl on the advice of some usually reliable sources and immediately hit a brick wall. The free poetry delivery of the opening track was too worthy, too self-consciously in my face for my taste. Perhaps that had something to do it being a drinking alone on a Tuesday sort of evening, but it was a bit too much.I didn’t get it. “Why is this woman singing about rotting bananas?” I wondered. “What was that about beckoning the capitalist clit?”
Then I saw this. I watched as Hval walked through a house full of sketches of traditional ‘womanhood’ – baking, reading to a child at bedtime, applying lipstick. I witnessed as she took a seat and lit a smoke as they gradually disintegrate – humorously, horrifically. l listened as she intoned, “Statistics and newspapers tell me I am unhappy and dying,that I need man and child to fulfill me,” with equal amount of sneering and of fear. And I listened as she shoved a stick into the sand to redraw the battle lines of the 21st century. Simply, eloquently, angrily: “You say I’m free now, that battle is over, and feminism is over & socialism’s over. I can consume what I want now.”
And that’s how Jenny Hval made a fan out of me.