The Best Singles of 2016, #6


6. Jenny Hval, “Conceptual Romance”

Norwegian artist Jenny Hval has mesmerized me these last couple years with some of the most striking music I have heard this decade, but for all her confrontational performance art and experimental music, “Conceptual Romance” is a huge creative breakthrough, in which her poetry is underscored by the prettiest melodies she has ever created. Like Kate Bush and Laurie Anderson, Hval bridges high art with pop appeal, as well as her own enigmatic nature (“It could be making sense of impermanence, failure and overlooked artwork, but it could also be making sense of the eternal. A floor plan of eternity,” she has written about this song) and the end result is astonishing.