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Antony and the Johnsons are the group performing the musical works of Antony Hegarty.
The group released their debut album in 1998, after Antony was discovered by British experimental musician David Tibet (of Current 93 fame), who offered to release his music on his own label Durtro. The debut "Mysteries of Love" didn't really make a splash commercially or critically, and thus three years went on before the next EP, "I Fell In Love With a Dead Boy" which, along with the title track, contained a David Lynch/Angelo Bardalamenti cover from their Twin Peaks soundtrack collaboration and a Current 93 cover, as a tribute to Tibet. The EP found its way to Hal Wilner, he played it to his friend Lou Reed who was quickly enamored by Antony's unique voice and vision of Baroque Pop. The Velvet Underground legend quickly recruited Hegarty for his upcoming record The Raven and the exposure enabled Antony to ink a deal with American label Secretly Canadian. Antony then released another EP entitled The Lake (on which Lou Reed lends his vocals for a feature), whilst Secretly Canadian also re-released his debut album in America in 2004.
A year later his second full-length album, I Am a Bird Now was released in 2005, and was met with both commercial and critical success, even earning Antony a Mercury Award and some unkind words from supposed favorite Kaizer Chiefs, who claimed Antony shouldn't be allowed to win as, even though being born in the UK, he lived and worked in the US. Yeah... Antony then worked with a myriad of creative individuals for different projects, lending his skills to produce music for works such as the movie adaption of V for Vendetta.
In the middle of January 2009 Antony's third full-length album The Crying Light was released and went straight to #1 on the Billboard list and garnering even more critical praises for the loads of themes it contained, as well as the constantly evolving musicianship of Antony and his group members. The group then toured extensively, often performing with symphonic orchestras. In June 2010 the group ended their touring in Japan, where Antony along William Basinski and Johanna Constantine performed with Yoshito Ohno, the son of a 103-year old Kazou Ohno who is on the cover of The Crying Light. The elderly dancer died the following June, and Antony wrote an obituary for her in English paper The Guardian
October 2010 saw the release of the groups fourth full-length album Swanlights released simultaneously with a book also titled Swanlights containing Antony's drawings and collages made in collaboration with photographer Don Felix Cervantes, once again showcasing Antony's creativity and talent. To no one's surprise, the album met critical and commercial success, earning several high placements on different medias end of the year lists and cementing the group in the musical industry.
As of recent news, Antony has been chosen to curate Meltdown 2012, an annual festival wherein a musician is picked to chose the entire lineup playing at Southbank Centre. Previous curators include Nick Cave, Patti Smith and David Bowie.
- Antony Hegarty - lead vocals, piano
- Julia Kent (previously of Rasputina) - cello
- Parker Kindred - drummer
- Jeff Langston - bassist
- Doug Wieselman - horns
- Maxim Moston - violin, arrangement
- Rob Moose - guitar, violin
- Thomas Bartlett - piano
- Antony and the Johnsons (1998)
- I Am a Bird Now (2005)
- The Crying Light (2009)
- Swanlights (2010)
- The Lake (2004)
- Hope There's Someone (2005)
- You Are My Sister (2005)
- I Fell in Love with a Dead Boy (2006)
- Another World (2008)
- Thank You for Your Love (2010)
- Swanlights (2011)
- Baroque Pop: One of the heavy-hitters.
- Face of the Band: Antony, though very much with the whole ego aspect.
- Pop Star Composer: Sort of. Antony has created several tracks for both movies and other endeavors, but he's usually hired because of the loads of orchestral stuff he throws in his own music.
- Long Runner Lineup
- Sacred Cow: Seems like it, very rarely attacked by critics. Being brought forward by Lou Reed and constantly engaging in different creative projects probably helps a bit.