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Release Date: 2016-05-06
Catalog No: SC333
Label: Secretly Canadian

ANOHNI collaborated with Oneohtrix Point Never and Hudson Mohawke on the album ‘HOPELESSNESS’, a dance record with soulful vocals and lyrics addressing surveillance, drone warfare, and ecocide. A radical departure from the singer's symphonic work, ANOHNI sought to disrupt assumptions about popular music through the collision of a seductive electronic sound and guttural, highly politicized lyrics. The cover art by Inez Van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin features Liya Kebede.

“I tried to keep a focus on myself in terms of addressing my complicity in so many of these issues — as a taxpayer, as a consumer, as a passive participant. I got to thinking perhaps as an artist, even as an artist with the best of intentions, that I was kind of a microcosm of the brokenness of the whole system. That within my body I contained the whole conflict.”

On 30 November 2015, ANOHNI first released "4 Degrees" on youtube, along with an accompanying message: "In solidarity with the climate conference in Paris, giving myself a good hard look, not my aspirations but my behaviors, revealing my insidious complicity. It's a whole new world. Let’s be brave and tell the truth as much as we can."

The second single from the album, "Drone Bomb Me", was released with a music video directed by Nabil, art directed by Riccardo Tisci, and featuring an emotional performance by Naomi Campbell. In the track, ANOHNI voiced dismay, moral defeat and outrage at the assault upon innocence that was the “collateral damage” of Obama’s escalating drone war on Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.

A further single, “Marrow” names the global campaign of resource extraction that humanity is in the midst of exacting upon Earth. In a video featuring Lorraine O’Grady, ANOHNI likens Earth to a woman’s body. Singing “Suck the marrow out of her bones / Inject me with chemotherapies / Suck the money out of her face / We are all Americans now,” she describes global willingness to deplete landscapes as a legacy of the influence of the United States, and a final expression of Manifest Destiny.

Drawing influence from electro, trap, and 80's Hi NRG, ANOHNI stated that “Rage is a really fun place to dance from—expressions of anger sublimated into something beautiful are invigorating, especially if you feel like you’re telling the truth."

“On the crushing and glorious HOPELESSNESS, Anohni collaborates with Hudson Mohawke and OPN to create something new: the electronic dance anthem as visceral protest song…. HOPELESSNESS communicates the horror of seeing that in so many ways we have been profoundly fooled by the fantasy of the American experiment. By how the stars are not just stars. By how they contain lies. By how the truest protagonist of HOPELESSNESS is us.” Jenn Pelly, Pitchfork 90/100, Top 10 Albums of 2016

“The Most Profound Record in Decades” Tim Jonze, The Guardian 5/5, Top 10 Albums of 2016

“An epic, potentially epoch-making release.” Magnet

“it reminds us of the importance of dignity, integrity, and imagination. The world ANOHNI describes on “Hopelessness” is unrelentingly awful; it is our world. But at the center of it is a transcendent voice singing against heavy machinery, daring you to listen to the words coming out of your own mouth.” Hua Hsu, The New Yorker

“She comes at her topics from unexpected angles — sometimes identifying with forces of destruction, sometimes mourning their ravages.” Jon Pareles, NYTimes, Best Albums of 2016

"The subject matter on Hopelessness can be grisly — state-sponsored execution, torture, animals expiring in trees — but the music, and Anohni's singing especially, brings the emotional rush of revelation." Ann Powers, NPR

“A bold work of both art and activism, the song [4 Degrees] remains resonant in a world that hasn’t gotten any more sustainable in the time since its release. Earth experienced its hottest year on record in 2015, with an average surface temperature 1.62 degrees (Fahrenheit) warmer than the 20th-century average. And the following year was even hotter. Now 2020 is on track to be one of the five hottest years since record-keeping began in 1880.” Pitchfork, 2020
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Standard formats

(Black Vinyl)

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