By Trent Warner
Contemporary Nordic artists Kim Myhr and Jenny Hval conceived an experimental and largely improvised album rooted in Bob Dylan’s aging voice. On the album, composer Kim Myhr strips his instrumentation down strictly to acoustic guitar, creating an effect that can be both effervescent (as on “Mass”) and ominous (as on “Something New”). Regardless of the effect, the guitar pervades through the music and its natural sound is often skewed and unrecognizable.
The Trondheim Jazz Orchestra is present too, adding depth to the music where the guitar can’t. Myhr and the orchestra have collaborated before, and the ease with which they play off of each other is apparent.
Hval is new to the mix, but brings emotional punches that accentuate the music through her soft and airy vocals. While her voice may sound drained, it’s an exasperation that allows the music to remain at the forefront of each song. On track “Me, you, me, you,” her vocal coos echo, mimic, and taunt a slight horn sound before the lamentation: “Yes you, you are close/ until things are no longer heavy.” Her voice erupts with what sounds like a kettle boiling as accompaniment, the tension rising and relinquished with the sounds of horns and clarinets offering resolution. It’s an exciting new turn for Hval, whose most recent albums are impeccable, and it’s a chance for her to embrace the more experimental sound of her early work.In the End His Voice Will Be the Sound of Paper, Kim Myhr + Jenny Hval, Trondheim Jazz Orchestra