Photo: Signe Fuglesteg Luksengard

Lost Girls set off on a bleary search for meaning in “Ruins”

Lost Girls, the duo of Jenny Hval and Håvard Volden, have released their first new music since their excellent 2021 debut album Menneskekollektivet. The track is called “Ruins” and Hval says:

“Håvard sent me this long, wonderful and kaleidoscopic bass line on top of a drum machine track that I had no clue what to do with — it felt too difficult to try to learn or tame it. I started improvising with it and moving parts around a bit, and the song began to feel like getting lost in a city at night, or a cemetery, walking around in circles, perhaps running, perhaps hiding. After improvising for a bit I realized that I was singing about this kind of pattern of movement, but as a band practice in the 90s, back when I first started playing with other people. If ‘Ruins’ is ‘about’ anything, it’s about a practice of discovery, being young and lost and feeling as if you are close to something ancient and magical.”

Underpinned by Volden’s electric guitar chug, “Ruins” takes on more of a post-rock feel than most of Lost Girls’ work, although the drum machine provides their usual propulsion through the many mists of Hval’s mind. As she explains above, “Ruins” isn’t really about anything, but Hval’s bleating missives sound as vital as ever. She coasts into the song wordlessly on a wave of bleared synth organ and traipses through Volden’s instrumental work on a mission of the innocuous; “I wish I had taken something / like an earphone or an empty can”. This seemingly pointless desire leads Hval to the central image; “now we’re ruins / in the nowhere of the summer”. It builds from there to more stark images and horn injections, a subtle colossus rising from the ether. As usual, Lost Girls’ work is beguiling but compelling, pulling you in to try to find an answer to a question that you don’t even understand.

Listen to “Ruins” below or find it on streamers.

“Ruins” is out via Smalltown Supersound. You can find Jenny Hval on Facebook and Instagram, while Håvard Volden is on Twitter and Instagram.

Lost Girls have also announced tour dates:

Tue. Sep. 26 – New York, NY @ National Sawdust
Sun. Nov. 5 – Paris, FR @ Petit Bain *
Tue. Nov. 7 – London, UK @ Corsica Studios
Sat. Nov. 11 – Berlin, DE @ Silent Green

*w/ Decisive Pink