I just got an email with a little bit of a peek into what is in store for us when the new Antony and The Johnsons’ Swanlights album comes out later this fall. If you remember the album will be accompanied by a 144 page hard cover book chuck full of Antony’s paintings, collages, photography and writings. Below you’ll find two of the paintings that will appear in the book, one titled “Christina’s Farm” and the other titled “The Creek”. These paintings are exactly what I would expect out of Antony. Something that you can continually look at day after day and come up with different reasoning every time.
The album promises to be “Antony’s most wide-rangingly emotional work to date”. The press release describes it far better than I can.
“Everything is New” opens the album with a newborn piano melody that quickly gathers in momentum and excitement. Strings and bursts of percussion carry the song forward in a feral cacophony of sound. Later on the album, the title track “Swanlights” finds us navigating a primordial and hallucinatory world of hazy guitar tones. The enigmatic layered melody of “Swanlights” emerges from a glistening soundscape. A central image on the album, Antony explains what he means by the word “Swanlights”: ”It’s the reflection of light on the surface of the water at night. It’s the moment when a spirit jumps out of a body and turns into a violet ghost.” On “Thank You For Your Love”, Antony expresses a soul-infused sentiment of gratitude, but the song progresses into urgency, leaving behind the 4/4 rhythmic structure and breaking into an emotional gallop that reveals an underlying pathos.
01. Everything is New
02. The Great White Ocean
04. I’m In Love
07. The Spirit Was Gone
08. Thank You For Your Love
09. Flétta (feat. Björk)
10. Salt Silver Oxygen
11. Christina’s Farm
This isn’t the first time that Antony and Björk have collaborated. Antony lent his pipes to Björk’s “The Dull Flame of Desire” on her 2007 release Volta.