Antony and the Johnsons Antony and the JohnsonsSwanlights EP
SECRETLY CANADIAN (SC233, 10”)
Unlike their previous two EPs, “Another World” and “Thank You For Your Love”, this “Swanlights EP” serves as an epilogue to their colossal latest eponymous album. Very intelligently, Antony And The Johnsons have a double target with this one. On one hand, the all-time fan, and on the other, the lovers of more twisted sounds. It includes the title track, two unreleased songs and, maybe the most interesting piece on it, an edit by Oneohtrix Point Never, who returns the favour after he sang on that beautiful version of “Returnal”, one of the best tracks of last year. Hegarty himself explained the concept of swanlights as “the reflection of light on the surface of the water at night and the moment when a spirit jumps out of a body and turns into a violet ghost”. A better description for one of the key tunes of his latest album would surely be impossible.
From those words and that piece of music, Daniel Lopatin starts his deconstruction with some deep keys that create an unhealthy atmosphere like only he can. But at times the track turns into some kind of arabesque enchantment. He had the original magic and dreamy elements, so all he had to do was to mix them with dark intentions to recharge and increase the density the track. An asphyxiating spell that serves to invoke demons and heavenly bodies as well (that bit of kosmische shouldn’t go unnoticed). From chamber pop with symphonic tendencies to swampy ambient drones.
Regarding the two previously unreleased pieces, “Find The Rhythm Of Your Love” (love those rhythm changes) and “Kissing No One”, both guided by a precious piano, I have to say they don’t do as well as other songs included on previous EPs, like that majestic Antony version of Bob Dylan’s “Pressing On” and the Tom Waits-like “Shake That Devil”. Add more intimacy, if that’s possible, and reduce the sophisticated production of his last two albums.
Álvaro García Montoliu
Antony And The Johnsons - Swanlights Opn Edit