Antony and the Johnsons’ breakthrough second album I Am a Bird Now (Secretly Canadian)
won the UK’s prestigious Mercury Prize in 2005. The success that followed introduced many to
a pioneering soul singer unafraid to explore themes that traversed darkness and light, life and
death, male and female. Antony’s inimitable voice sparked the interest of artists ranging from
Bjork to Hercules and Love Affair, resulting in a series of critically acclaimed collaborations.
The Crying Light is the highly anticipated full-length follow-up to I Am a Bird Now. Here,
Antony shifts the thematic focus and explores his relationship with the natural world. The
intimacy of the Johnsons’ sound is enveloped by avant-classical composer Nico Muhly’s
symphonic arrangements. The first moments of “Her Eyes Are Underneath the Ground” unveil
an animist world in which the leaves are winking and the sun “...dances crystals in my eyes.” The
joyful ricochets of “KissMy Name” and the spiraling waltz of “Epilepsy Is Dancing”are to follow.
The record’s centerpiece, “Another World” traces the singer’s dispair in the face of a vanishing
landscape. The striking vocal on “Dust and Water” seems to sooth the mind like an unfurling
and pastoral “Everglade” concludes the album, Antony stepping beyond the confines of his
loneliness and into the landscape to find that his “…Limbs (have) stopped Crying for Home…”
Antony falls into a reverie and seems to join the legendary Butoh dancer Kazuo Ohno, whose
eerie portrait graces the cover of The Crying Light.
Antony and the Johnsons’ music bridges the gap between avant-classical music and the blues,
and the band’s sold out performances have resulted in standing ovations from Carnegie Hall to
the Apollo. The Crying Light is a soul-stirring new work with its daring compositions and
captivating vocal performances.Antony and the Johnsons have created a subtle and timely work
that brings a magical and yet changing world to the forefront of our consciousness.