Music

10 essential Anohni songs, selected by Vivid LIVE curator Ben Marshall

Anohni will play four exclusive shows at the Sydney Opera House in May as part of the lineup for the 2016 Vivid LIVE festival showcasing material from the upcoming Hopelessness album – a collaboration between the Academy Award nominated singer and producers Hudson Mohawke and Oneohtrix Point Never.

Ahead of the shows, Vivid LIVE curator Ben Marshall has selected 10 of his favourite moments from the singer’s superb catalogue that includes the Mercury Award winning Antony and the Johnsons album I Am a Bird Now plus collaborations with Bjork, Hudson Mohawke, and Hercules and Love Affair. 

‘4 Degrees’ – Anohni

An enormous song and the big indicator of where she’s going to go on her new album Hopelessness. 4 Degrees subverts both the prevalent big electronic pop music format and any expectation of hearing an Antony and the Johnsons style torch song – producing a hair-raising, angry, uplifting anthem that’s chilling and devastating in every sense.


‘Blind’ – Hercules and Love Affair feat. Antony

The seeds of Anohni’s future sonic direction were perhaps sown during the creation of this epic DFA disco stormer in 2008. Never guessing that her emotional, powerful falsetto would sound this phenomenal when paired with electronic dance music, it blew me away at the time and am thrilled this avenue is going to be mined more deeply.


‘Hope There’s Someone’ – Antony and the Johnsons

Opening baroque piece from Anohni’s breakthrough Antony and the Johnsons album I Am A Bird Now. Tremulous, solid, sinister and gorgeous – this song captures so much of what makes Anohni so compelling.


‘Manta Ray’ – Anohni

Written by J. Ralph and performed by Anohni for the soundtrack to the Racing Extinction documentary, this beautiful, haunting piece was a surprise 2016 Oscar nomination for Best Original Song.


‘Cripple and the Starfish’ – Antony and the Johnsons

I’ll leave this one to Lou Reed – “When I first heard ‘Cripple and the Starfish’‚ I knew I was in the presence of an angel.”


‘Indian Steps’ – Hudson Mohawke feat. Antony

An intimate track from Warp’s maximalist master pairs Anohni’s voice with HudMo’s affecting attention to detail.


‘The Returnal’ – Antony interpreting Oneohtrix Point Never

A rework/cover of the synth heavy Oneohtrix Point Never’s original track that is simply Daniel Lopatin on piano and Anohni singing in a beautiful and melancholic fashion.


‘Flétta’ – Antony and the Johnsons feat. Bjork

Two incredibly unique voices and regular collaborators combining in an utterly inimitable way.


‘If It Be Your Will’ – Antony Hegarty

This Leonard Cohen cover is one of the songs that so wowed Sydney when Antony performed at the Opera House for the Came So Far For Beauty Cohen tribute.

Anohni will play four shows in the Sydney Opera House’s Joan Sutherland Theatre for Vivid LIVE between Friday, May 27 and Tuesday, May 31. Tickets for Anohni’s performances will be allocated by ballot – head here for more details.

The Vivid LIVE festival runs from 27 May – 13 June at the Sydney Opera House, and is a part of Vivid Sydney, the Southern Hemisphere’s largest festival of light, music and ideas. The full lineup for the festival will be announced later this month.