Norwegian singer/songwriter Jenny Hval has shared a beautiful and touching music video for her new single “Accident,” a track from her upcoming record The Practice of Love. Long-time collaborator Zia Anger directed the music video, featuring Anger’s mother Barbara Anger, who plays Hval’s mother in the video character, Pitchfork reports.
The new music video has already demonstrated a distinct lack of interest in traditional storytelling. It begins with Anger’s mother, the main character, typing a letter to Hval, “Once she was a mystery of life,” Hval sings. “Now she is skyping with her friend/They are both childless/It rings a hollow tone: childless…she found stretch mark cream in an Airbnb bathroom. It was just cream. Rubbing it on her belly, she felt nothing.” Rich in imagination, the video uses the imagery of water running from a faucet and falls coming from a cave to represent birth and pregnancy.
Taking motherhood as her stated theme, Hval uses everything from heavy synths to distant, discordant horns to conjure her idea of motherhood and the curious dreamscapes of giving birth. “Accident” is a propulsive art-pop jewel that showcases Hval’s crisp falsetto. The music video of the hissing, addictive neofolk is an organic fruit ripe for Hval and Anger. The duo spoke out their thoughts on the collaboration:
“With the release of this video we planned on publishing a dialogue between the two of us. Something that spoke about the kind of work we are doing, and that also referenced the theme of the video – the pairing of production and reproduction.
It’s a given that the product of some artistic work is worthless. You are therefore expected to ‘mother’ it instead of working and being compensated for it. And sometimes this is the best kind of work. Because it doesn’t feel valuable. Because not everybody will like it, or understand it. Because it won’t immediately be sucked up into the capitalist scroll. It has time and space to be conceived of, to sit in utero, to be birthed, to have its umbilical cord cut, and to live, to breathe.
The same is true of our collaboration. We are both seen and heard by each other, and often validated by our responses to each other. However big (with a video) or small (with an email.) Our collaboration validates each other’s right to breathe, to live, to speak. It’s the closest we get to magic.
This dialogue however, felt rushed. We will publish it at a later date. Until then.”
Hval released an EP called The Long Sleep last year. The Practice of Love follows her sixth full-length album Conceptual Romance in 2016 and will be out on September 13 via Sacred Bones Records. Hval’s upcoming performance will be Oslo’s Ultima Festival on September 20 and 21 in Europe.