Show Review & Photos: Jenny Hval w/ Discovery Zone @ Neumos

Jenny Hval w/ Discovery ZoneNeumos – 5/20/22
Review & Photos by Lisa Hagen Glynn

Jenny Hval – photo by Lisa Hagen Glynn

Norwegian avant-garde pop artist Jenny Hval returned to Seattle on May 20, 2022. Her previous visit in May 2018 included a trio show at the Nordic Heritage Museum, and before that she played solo at Kremwerk in November 2016. This time she brought a 5-piece band.

Hval was witty at the mic. After the audience applauded too enthusiastically for an older tune, “Female Vampire,” she deadpanned, “Rest your hands or we’ll get full of ourselves and do a 17-minute encore—only songs from 1998 to 2004.”

During “Freedom,” the audience received instructions:  “Close your eyes now. Listen. There is nothing left to see.” Hval sat on her knees and the lights dimmed. Afterward she said, “For those of you in the back, wondering if you were missing something really interesting, you were not.”

Hval did not include the usual assortment of quirky props, which she commented upon during the set: “I thought it was appropriate, after rooms being empty for so long, to have an empty room around me.” She also cited a messy onstage run-in with “goo.”

Hval’s latest album, Classic Objects, was released on 4AD in March 2022. Like much of her work, it has been critically acclaimed. Have a listen to “American Coffee.”

Jenny Hval – photos by Lisa Hagen Glynn

Berlin-based experimental artist Discovery Zone (AKA J.J. Weihl) opened, with a set of electronics, vocals, Theremin, and nostalgic screen-saver visuals.

After Seattle, Jenny Hval continued down the U.S. West Coast, with stops in Portland, Oakland, and Los Angeles. She plans a European tour later this summer.

Discovery Zone – photos by Lisa Hagen Glynn