Pasa Tem­pos New albums from Lucy Da­cus and Anohni

Pasatiempo - - NEWS -

Records) “I Don’t Want To Be Funny Any­more” opens the de­but record by Rich­mond, Vir­ginia, song­writer Lucy Da­cus. It’s a song about how we as­sign peo­ple, par­tic­u­larly women, one role and keep them locked there. She tries on dif­fer­ent hats (the “cute one,” the “front­man of the band”), while call­ing up all the draw­backs of be­ing funny (hurt­ing peo­ple’s feel­ings, wind­ing up the butt of jokes your­self). The song is also about how we all hide fear of the fu­ture and per­sonal insecurity be­hind hu­mor. It’s catchy, pointed, and — yes — funny. Da­cus is a for­mi­da­ble song­writ­ing tal­ent, eas­ily con­jur­ing up melodies and paint­ing ev­ery­thing from char­ac­ter stud­ies to med­i­ta­tions on love at first sight with evoca­tive im­agery — all amid im­mac­u­lately produced, gui­tar-driven indie rock. She re­turns to the theme of hu­mor near the abum’s end with “Map on a Wall,” a seven-minute opus that starts with, “Please don’t make fun of me, with my crooked smile and my crowded teeth,” then cycling through state­ments of self-em­pow­er­ment (“I made up my mind to live hap­pily”), and fi­nally land­ing back on the orig­i­nal theme, here pre­sented as “Please don’t make fun of me, this smile hap­pens gen­uinely.” The song is about wan­der­lust, but with the call to live life fully, she sug­gests that we main­tain the em­pa­thy to see that oth­ers have

the same right. It’s noth­ing to joke about. — Robert Ker

ANOHNI Hope­less­ness (Rough Trade/Se­cretly Cana­dian)

From her col­lab­o­ra­tions with Lou Reed and Björk to her divine disco-in­fused vo­cals with Her­cules and Love Af­fair, Anohni has used her fem­i­nine falsetto to belt out ra­di­ant songs. She is more pop­u­larly known as Antony He­garty, of the band Antony and the John­sons, but the trans­gen­der singer has since tran­si­tioned to the moniker Anohni. Along­side her per­sonal trans­for­ma­tion, she has con­sid­er­ably re­vamped her mu­si­cal out­put. With this new project, made in col­lab­o­ra­tion with whiz-kid Bri­tish dance pro­ducer Hud­son Mo­hawke, she has cre­ated a se­ries of dance thumpers that openly ad­dress drone war­fare, cli­mate change, and the sur­veil­lance state. Bal­anc­ing pop with weighty is­sues is usu­ally a sure­fire way to fail at both en­deav­ors. But the lead sin­gle, “Drone Bomb Me” ef­fec­tively mar­shals Anohni’s plain­tive vo­cals to craft a song where elec­tronic squelches and ra­di­ant pi­ano synths play a happy foil to a dis­so­nant cho­rus, “Drone bomb me/Blow me from the moun­tains/And into the sea.” It re­ally shouldn’t work, but Anohni knows how to traf­fic in de­liv­er­ies so raw and wilt­ing that she can lo­cate the shared emo­tional vul­ner­a­bil­ity in any sub­ject. Against a deep vol­ley of over­lap­ping drum sam­ples on “Obama,” she man­ages to as­sem­ble a dance-floor-ready cut that recre­ates the rise and fall of hope in an un­prece­dented pres­i­dency. In “4 De­grees,” the singer cat­a­logs, by name, an arc full of an­i­mals that will be dec­i­mated by global warm­ing. Avoid­ing the pit­falls of pre­ten­sion and ex­ploita­tive sad­ness, Anohni has pulled off an un­likely, M.I.A.-like feat of per­form­ing pol­i­tics on the dance floor. — Casey Sanchez

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.