- How would it feel to go for a walk in someone's head? The debut of Jenny Hval and Håvard Volden as Lost Girls might give you some idea. Ambling from thought to thought on "Feeling," Hval's spoken-word contemplates travel one minute, "a sexless body" the next. The monologue's casual form recalls the "performance novels," as the Village Voice's Kyle Gann called them, of the composer Robert Ashley. It's tempting to fumble around for meaning, but "Feeling"'s fleeting wisdoms and logical knots ("My name is Desire / but that's not a girl's name") are too slippery to hold. The music is comparatively stable, but it brings surprises of its own. The first five minutes are a steady lull of congas and synths, which I could've listened to for much longer. It soars gently thereafter. As the synth lines unspool on a gradual incline, Hval's vocal harmonies float into improbable registers.
Feeling is, the duo say, "the sound of someone changing their mind." This process seems more stressful on the B-side, not least once Hval, over a din of drums and feedback, demands that you "accept the risk." The sawdust guitar and grim atmosphere give the impression of dusty highways and rural isolation, the sort of places you wouldn't want to idle in for too long. Hval draws you in all the same. Slipping easily from anguished cry to triumphant howl, her voice is Feeling's most striking instrument. It's always expressive, even if it doesn't tell you much.