Review : Antony and the Johnsons - Thank You For Your Love EP
PitchforkAntony Hegarty, leader of the art-pop band Antony and the Johnsons, sings a lot about what he wants and needs. These tend to be pretty tall orders. He wants someone to take care of him... after he dies. He wants for your dreams (all your dreams) to come true. He wants to carve a face into the back of the sun. His new EP is another fount of longing, but it's driven by simpler, less metaphysical desires. Now he just wants to thank you for your love, and let you know that "you are the treasure." This directness is mirrored by the instrumentation, which seldom rises above a low-key saunter; by Antony's fluttering but rarely soaring delivery; and by the album cover: something uncomplicated and humble laid bare.
Antony is one of those singers with whom you build an intensely personal relationship. His invitation to indulge in the most immoderate emotions encourages it. As such, this EP is likely to invoke one of two responses from fans: Exaggerated disappointment over the smaller scale, or exaggerated gratitude simply to hear his voice again. The truth is somewhere in between: It's often good, but also quite slight. Between the title track (which will appear on the Swanlights LP), The Crying Light bonus track "My Lord My Love", and two surprising covers, there's just one original song that doesn't appear elsewhere: "You Are the Treasure", a brief dirge where a distant flock of Antonys warbles over stumbling piano keys.
Despite its slightness, Thank You is a coherent and unique entry in Antony's catalog. It's a rare dispatch from the centered, undivided self. On The Crying Light, Antony seemed stuck in "the middle place/ between light and nowhere" that he feared so acutely on "Hope There's Someone". His restless crossing of borders imbued the music with urgency. But now, for once, he doesn't need another world: He's there.
The two covers demonstrate Antony's ability to make literally anything into a personal statement. In a different context, retraces of Bob Dylan and John Lennon would stick out like sore thumbs-- especially since the Dylan song is "Pressing On", a gospel barnburner from his reviled evangelical period, and the Lennon entry is the hopelessly overexposed "Imagine". But Antony's singular voice and deep rearrangements fully transform them. His "Pressing On" lilts playfully through a gentle rain of guitar arpeggios, chimes, and what sounds like thumb-piano. His "Imagine" is slow and gusty, though he wisely keeps the iconic dashes of falsetto so he can draw them out with shivery poise....full text
DrownedinsoundAntony & The Johnsons release their new EP in just over a week's time, through Rough Trade in Europe and the UK. It's called Thank You For Your Love and that, not-so coincidentally, is the name of a track taken from it, and also the name of a song for which there's a new video.
The video was shot on Super 8 by Antony himself, made up of footage from the early 1990s, when Antony first moved to New York to study, as a young man. Watch it below:
As well as the release of the EP, there's a full A&TJ album on its way. It's called Swanlights and will be released on October 11 in the UK and a day later in the US. It's now available for pre-order, with the option to order a bundle of various formats, including an accompanying book. That book includes a collection of paintings, collages, photography and writing from Antony. So, if you're into what he does, is worth getting your hands on....full text
TinymixtapesAntony and the Johnsons are releasing Thank You For Your Love, a five-song EP, on August 30 via Rough Trade (which, by the way, features Bob Dylan and John Lennon covers). And let me tell you: It's no coincidence that the track streaming above has the same exact title as the EP. It's also no coincidence that the track appears on their forthcoming, due-on-October-11th album, Swanlights (it's the lead single, bitch)! But is it a coincidence that they used my abs for the cover of the EP?...full text
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