ANOHNI and The Johnsons have announced a new album, ‘My Back Was A Bridge For You To Cross’, along with the single ‘It Must Change’.
As per a press release, ANOHNI shared that Marvin Gaye’s ‘What’s Going On’ was heavy on her mind while creating her sixth full-length effort.
“That was a really important touchstone in my mind,” the artist explained. “Some of these songs respond from the present day to global and environmental concerns first voiced in popular music over 50 years ago.”
ANOHNI began working on ‘My Back Was A Bridge For You To Cross’ in 2022 with soul producer Jimmy Hogarth (Amy Winehouse, Duffy, Tina Turner). Together they created a series of demos before assembling a studio band including Leo Abrahams, Chris Vatalaro, Sam Dixon, and string arranger Rob Moose to record the project.
“I want the record to be useful. I learned with [2016 album] ‘Hopelessness’ that I can provide a soundtrack that might fortify people in their work, in their activism, in their dreaming and decision-making,” shared ANOHNI.
“I can sing of an awareness that makes others feel less alone, people for whom the frank articulation of these frightening times is not a source of discomfort but a cause for identification and relief. I want the work to be useful, to help others move with dignity and resilience through these conversations we are now facing.”
The lead single, ‘It Must Change’, highlights that exact awareness that she spoke about while also describing systems in collapse with a note of compassion for humanity.
‘It Must Change’ Single Art Credit: “Julia with Rose” by Erika Yasuda (Tokyo, 1979-1984) c. Rebis Music, all rights reserved.
The accompanying video, directed by Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard, sees British social justice activist Munroe Bergdorf lip-syncing along to the song while wearing a black gown.
ANOHNI shared that “Munroe Bergdorf has done so much service for British society. She always impresses me with her articulate grace. Munroe’s dignity and ethical courage are a guiding light.”
‘My Back Was A Bridge For You To Cross’ is set for release on July 7 via Rough Trade/Secretly Canadian – pre-order/pre-save it here. Check out the cover art and tracklist below.
‘My Back Was A Bridge For You To Cross’ Cover Artwork. Credit: Photo of Marsha P. Johnson by Alvin Baltrop ©2022 Estate of Alvin Baltrop / ARS, NY
The full tracklist for ‘My Back Was A Bridge For You To Cross’ is as follows:
1. It Must Change
2. Go Ahead
3. Sliver Of Ice
6. It’s My Fault
8. There Wasn’t Enough
9. Why Am I Alive Now?
10. You Be Free
The band’s last full-length LP came in the form of ‘Swanlights’, which was released in 2010. Following their hiatus, ANOHNI has pursued a solo career, and released her debut album ‘Hopelessness’ in 2016, and an EP, ‘Paradise’ the following year.
More recently, however, ANOHNI was listed among numerous artists set to feature on Rufus Wainwright’s new album ‘Folkocracy’. Set for release on June 2 via BMG, the release is described as an album of “folk music reinventions”, and features special guests including David Byrne, John Legend, Brandi Carlile, Sheryl Crow, Chaka Khan, Andrew Bird, Nicole Scherzinger, Susanna Hoffs, Van Dyke Parks and Madison Cunningham.
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