Antony and the Johnsons: Swanlights EP (Secretly Canadian) | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Antony and the Johnsons

Swanlights EP

Secretly Canadian

Jun 02, 2011 Antony and the Johnsons Bookmark and Share

Antony and the Johnsons have always been generous to their fans, traditionally unleashing a string of singles/EPs both preceding and following their LPs that contain a clutch of B-sides that rank alongside the best of their work. While it’s true that the New York ensemble have been known to take their sweet time between records, these releases have served to adequately tide over fans awaiting fresh material, due to the consistency among them. Far from a bomb, Swanlights —the band’s 2010 LP —did however suffer from a response that didn’t quite ascend the heights of the band’s previously lauded catalog. Thank You for Your Love, the last single/EP in this series, included a clutch of covers (Bob Dylan’s “Pressing On” and John Lennon’s oft-reinterpreted “Imagine”), along with several gems that drummed up interest in the upcoming album. Now, roughly half a year following the Swanlights LP, comes the Swanlights EP, featuring the title track as its opening number, two new tracks, and a clunky “OPN edit” of the aforementioned title song that feels out of place amidst the shimmering horns and pianos caressing the rest of what’s here.

“Find the Rhythm of Your Love,” the first of the new songs, rides along a mournful cello and some plaintive, stutter-stepping vocal melodies and piano tickling. As it gently oozes toward complacency, a frantic frenzy of a bridge whips up what would otherwise be a pleasant but unremarkable tune into a stranger creature than what we’re initially greeted with. As we return to the soothing sounds of yore, we’re left with an uneasy feeling that saves it from remaining timid or prosaic. “Kissing No One,” the second song debuting here, is an affecting, ruminative piano ballad with some lovely string-work that fits like a glove but fails to impress on the same level of what presaged it. Judging by the EP’s ability to balance mounting anticipation with trickles of fan-pleasing appetizing, it only half succeeds. But when you’re dealing with a talent as big-hearted and wieldy as Antony’s, that’s more than enough. (

Author rating: 6/10

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