Anohni Premieres ‘Hopelessness' at New York's Park Avenue Armory
English composer and vocalist Anohni -- previously known to music fans as Antony Hegarty of chamber pop outfit Antony and the Johnsons -- releases her new album, Hopelessness, May 6 via Secretly Canadian.
The release will be celebrated with a world premiere at New York's historic Park Avenue Armory as part of the Red Bull Music Academy Festival 2016.
The event will be a multimedia presentation featuring new original films shown alongside the music. The live band for the production includes Brooklyn musician Oneohtrix Point Never, stage name of experimental electronic artist Daniel Lopatin, who collaborated with Anohni on the album.
Anohni released five albums as Antony and the Johnsons from 2000-2010, performing as a baroque rock ensemble with musicians like cellist Julia Kent and pianist Thomas Bartlett (a.k.a. Doveman). Hopelessness is the singer's first work released under her "spirit name," autonym Anohni.
Anohni describes the album as "different as could be from my previous work," claiming the abandonment of the Johnsons' chamber music style for a sojourn into dark wave, avant-garde dance and electronica.
Along with the change in sound comes a renewed focus on topical songwriting. Hopelessness explores humanity's current conflicts, with lead single "4 Degrees" composed "in solidarity with the climate conference in Paris." Other songs on the album exhibit political titles like "Drone Bomb Me" and "Obama." In an interview with Noisey, Anohni explained the meaning behind the album's title:
"I called it Hopelessness because I've had to move through a lot of hopelessness. Grieving is a part of getting with the program: let me grieve, let's grieve what's going on. I think a lot of people feel hopeless and powerless, I know I've spent a lot of time feeling both. That doesn't mean it's a fact that we're hopeless and powerless, but it means that's how we feel. Let's acknowledge the feelings, let's move through it."
Anohni's Hopelessness world premiere occurs May 18 and 19 at Park Avenue Armory on the Upper East Side. More information is available from the Red Bull Music Academy Festival website.
Below, preview "4 Degrees," the first song released from the forthcoming album.