HOLY SMOLEY!! That cover artwork for The Crying Light (released January 20th on Secretly Canadian Records) scared the crap out of me. I'm not sure if the cover art is meant to scare you - but it scared me. The portrait is of Kazuo Ohno by Naoya Ikegami, Tokyo 1977.
Anyway, Pitchfork have been building up Antony & The Johnsons' album on ABC News (see also abcnews.com/amplilfied) as one of the most anticipated album for 2009.
I will say one thing is that Antony Hegarty's voice is very, very, unique and interesting. When you listen to his music, you really listen to it because it's like nothing you've ever heard before. Having said that, if you don't enjoy his voice, then you will find it nothing less than distracting.
Many of these songs on The Crying Light have minimum music (pianos, violins, soft orchestral arrangements) with his voice served as the central piece that ties it all together.
His music theme seems to be revolving around transgender/intersex and about searching and finding ... and not to read too much into it, but he seems to have an endless love for Dr. Julia Yasuda (an intersexal person) on the liner notes. Her portrait is proudly displayed on the album's booklet.
The songs that's worth checking out are "One Dove", a slower, but creepy song. The ending with the flute is a plus. There's also "Everglade", which ends the album on loneliness tone.
"Epilepsy Is Dancing" is easily my favorite on the album. The music feels like a classical waltz here and Antony's lyrics is depressing at some points ("cut me in quadrants/leave me in the corner").
If you like unconventional vocals on an unconventional classical orchestral - and also feeling awkward, you'll need to check out The Crying Light by Antony & The Johnsons. You can find their album at most retailers (amazon) and digitally (iTunes).