Anohni, Hopelessness via Secretly Canadian/Rough Trade
Anohni’s Hopelessness is, simply, 11 lightning tracks of flawless electronic music. Co-produced by giants Hudson Mohawke and Oneohtrix Point Never, the record is the transgender icon’s first post-transition project. She shows that she’s just as brilliant at weaving politics and queer identity into experimental dance music as she was with leading Antony and the Johnsons’ chamber-pop sound. She doesn’t mince words when naming songs, with titles like “Violent Men,” “Obama,” and the album’s stellar opening track, “Drone Bomb Me”—the haunting video for which stars a fierce and tear-drenched Naomi Campbell. “4 Degrees,” the album’s first drop, nods to an eye-peeling study that warns that Earth’s temperature will rise four degrees Celsius by the end of the century if greenhouse gas emissions continue at their current pace. With irreparable climate change and the senselessness of current political affairs, our situation may indeed be hopeless, but Anohni proves that turning oneself over to harsh realities is an art form in itself.
SOPHIE SAINT THOMAS