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ANOHNI / Antony and the Johnsons

I Am A Bird Now

Release Date: 2005-02-01
Catalog No: SC105
Label: Secretly Canadian

Moving, beautiful sounding, and succinct, Antony and the Johnsons’ second full-length album explores layers of feeling and catharsis. ANOHNI describes the song cycle as a conversation between the family of archetypes within her. The most well-known track, ‘Hope There's Someone’ begins with a sparse piano arrangement and rises into the air by song's end in a vortex of harmonies. The classic “You Are My Sister” features an affecting duet with Boy George. Other guests on the record include Rufus Wainwright, Devendra Banhart and ANOHNI’s mentor Lou Reed, who played guitar and recited an interlude during "Fistful of Love." Musicians on this recording include the original Johnsons ensemble: string players Maxim Moston, Julia Kent, and Joan Wasser, bassist Jeff Langston, horn players including Doug Wieselman and Steve Bernstein, and drummers Parker Kindred, John Bollinger, and Tahrah Cohen. I am a Bird Now was mixed by Doug Henderson at Micromoose Studios in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

The album was awarded the 2005 UK Mercury Prize, bringing ANOHNI global visibility, which led the following year to ANOHNI's European tour of TURNING.The album cover features the timeless photograph “Candy Darling on her Deathbed” by Peter Hujar, with additional photography by Josef Astor and Don Felix Cervantes, and design by ANOHNI.

This is tough, honest, uncompromising beauty and the next great voice in music". Mojo "Best Album of 2005” (5/5)

"The very important history in that cover-- helps to understand the melancholy, sense of loss, and rapturous joy in these 10 tracks. But however aesthetically intriguing and complex that history may be, the ultimate draw is Antony's voice...a multi-octave siren…” Pitchfork (8.6/10)
I Am A Bird Now is a beautiful, emotive, glorious, and sometimes sinister album that will top many a critic's list come the end-of-year polls, and justifiably so." Drowned in Sound (10/10)

'Fistful of Love', driven on by horns straight out of a Muscle Shoals soul classic... emerges, like this rest of this remarkable album, as a Valentine to the world at large." The Observer

I'm completely overwhelmed by this record… This music grabs a hold of you and doesn't let go. It feels timeless and gorgeous and bigger than life. It may not be "soul" in the strict, music appreciation 101 sense, but it could make even the most jaded atheist approach a metaphysical regard. It is assured, searing and majestic SOUL to the utmost.” Tiny Mix Tapes 5/5

"I Am a Bird Now is very much a disc of atmosphere, incorporating alienation, love, pain and joy into its lyrics, mood and music... Antony's piano style and writing are steeped in jazz."
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