I have been haunted by Anohni (aka Antony) since I first saw her exquisite performance of “If It Be Your Will” in the film Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man. With the depth of Nina Simone and delicacy of Keaton Henson, her voice is at once, ethereal and soulful.
Antony & the Johnsons third album, The Crying Light became a soundtrack to my grieving after the savage loss of my daughter in early '09. Like some kind of ancient magic, this music could simultaneously break my heart and heal my soul.
listen: River of Sorrow
I wrote much of The Complicated Geography with I Am a Bird Now on rotation. More than one song from that album mademe want to crush Anohni to me. it's going to be okay, one of us would whisper, though I was never sure who would be comforting whom.
listen: For Today I Am a Boy
listen: Bird Gerhl
While Antony & The Johnsons remain on an indefinite hiatus, Anohni has been busy writing, recording and turning her attention to the world around her rather than the one within. I have been remiss in not carving out time to fully absorb her new work.
“Hopelessness is no less vulnerable than her previous records. Its sense of fragility, however, is situated not between soul mates but between citizen and state.” – (read the New Yorker review here)
The sense of mourning in the dreamy lyrics of her days with The Johnsons takes a darker turn on Hopeless – scathing indictments served up on a bed of fluffy electronica. The opening song “Drone Bomb Me” makes for an eerie ballad while the track “4 Degrees” is awash in self-recrimination. Harnessing her distress and anger at a world out of control, Anohni has crafted a powerful, overtly political work.