Jenny Hval: Norwegian artist says periods should be celebrated

Norwegian musician Jenny Hval, 36 Image copyright Secretly Distribution
Image caption Norwegian artist Jenny Hval's album Blood Bitch features a song celebrating periods

Norwegian musician Jenny Hval has been praised after releasing an album featuring a song celebrating periods.

On the aptly titled Period Piece, the conceptual artist comfortably reflects on the natural process of menstruation.

"Don't be afraid, it's only blood," she reassures listeners over an ambient electronic track.

The song appears on the artist's sixth album Blood Bitch, which was recorded in a shed in Olso and is released on Friday.

Hval, 36, is known for tackling individual gender identities and sexuality and her latest work is no less political than her previous releases.

But it is her enthusiasm for covering the subjects that others avoid which may make her art, particularly her latest effort, worthy of note.

"I want menstrual blood to have a huge, creative, real world power," she told The Pool.

Her song Period Piece has been widely shared on social media with Twitter users, such as Madhvi, referring to Hval's Blood Bitch as the "menstruation album".

Image copyright Secretly Distribution
Image caption Hval's latest release has been referred to as the "menstruation album"

Hval admits that even she finds some of the album's content embarrassing, but told the BBC's Stuart Maconie that her recordings allow her to be open by creating a context where "the embarrassed voice can exist".

In The Battle is Over, a spoken word song released last year, she criticised the media for publishing what she described as a barrage of statistics that make women feel at fault for things they have no control over.

"Statistics and newspapers tell me I am unhappy and dying, that I need man and child to fulfil me, that I'm more likely to get breast cancer," she said.

Hval, who describes herself as a "child of capitalism", argues that identity is detrimental, particularly for musicians. Her earlier work was recorded under the pseudonym Rockettothesky.

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