The avant garde Norwegian throws open a ghostly sonic sketchbook
The avant garde Norwegian throws open a ghostly sonic sketchbook on this complex sixth album. Taking vampirism, gore, and femininity as her stated themes, Hval uses everything from percussive panting (the compellingly sinister “In The Red”) to distant, discordant horns (“Untamed Region”) to conjure challenging, dark dreamscapes. Thankfully, she never forgets the tunes. “The Great Undressing” is a propulsive art-pop jewel, and “Secret Touch” pits Hval’s brittle falsetto against hissing, addictive trip hop.