Often described as “the Norwegian PJ Harvey”, Jenny Hval has signed to a new label and is readying the release of her new album, Apocalypse, Girl. And here we have the first taste. And, by Jenny’s standards, it’s actually quite accessible singer-songwriter fare – and definitely holds up to the PJ Harvey comparisons. Over a sluggish beat Jenny half talks-half trills some quite bleak lyrics despairing at modern society. It ends with a screech and a drone and a muttered refrain, and, though we certainly can’t speak for everyone, but it’s compelling listening that makes you hit the repeat button. This won’t be troubling the charts, but it’s an intriguing development and bodes well for the album, coming in June.
This is quite a coup for Urban Cone. They’ve been building their name on the Swedish circuit for five years but have never garnered the attention of many of their fellow countrymen, so to nab possibly Sweden’s biggest star right now to feature on their new single must have set their hearts racing. Fresh from her success at the Swedish Grammis, Tove Lo duets with lead singer Emil Gustafsson on Come Back To Me, which they wrote together. It’s a jaunty indie tune reminiscent of Belle & Sebastian or fellow Swedes I’m From Barcelona, but is given extra depth by Tove Lo’s sultry vocals. It will feature on Urban Cone’s upcoming second album Polaroid Memories, and they’re joining her on her upcoming European tour. I wonder if the boys from Disclosure have seen the artwork, though?
So we may be a month late to this but good things come to those who wait and all that. Blänk are a Swedish trio blending indie pop and hip-hop, and Tears Run Dry is their first release in three years and the first from their upcoming album Only Built for Northern Lights. Here they collaborate with Noonie Bao (best known to us as a co-writer with Charli XCX and Say Lou Lou) and it’s a thing of minimalist beauty. They’ve followed it up now with Grip It, which is far more towards the hip-hop end of the spectrum but well worth investigating also. Looking at their Soundcloud page, old track Do This Thing is also excellent and shows yet another side to them. We’re suddenly quite intrigued by these guys and are now eagerly awaiting their album on 9 March.