For her first new music since last years charity single KARMA, Anohni has released a couple of cover versions – ‘It’s All over Now, Baby Blue’ by Bob Dylan and ‘Be My Husband’ by Nina Simone, for a new 7” release on Secretly Canadian, out on October 2nd.
On the Dylan, Anohni says “I recorded It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue with Kevin Barker one afternoon a few years ago. I listened to it recently and it reminded me of Now, a nausea of nostalgia for the suffering of the present, or even the future. I did a couple of songs by Bob Dylan at that time, encouraged by Hal Willner, the producer who we lost to Covid 19 in April. I hope that this period, and this repugnant presidency, will be over soon, and that these bigots and apocalyptic capitalists and evangelicals will crawl back into their rotten little holes. But how can this happen unless the American media and social media are forced to tell the truth? I am glad to see the mobilization of Black Lives Matter and the re-emergence of the Occupy movement. When Biden said “Americans don’t want revolution, they want a return to decency,” he was wrong. We all know deep down that the continuation of our civilizations for much longer will require seismic change.”
While, speaking of the Nina Simone, she says “I saw Nina Simone perform at Carnegie Hall in 1991 while I was still in college. The concert was not properly publicized, and the theater was only half full. I think it may have been her first time back in NYC in many years. She was rumored to be volatile and unpredictable. That night she sang and played with such dignity, so incredibly, and she did 5 or 6 encores. For me, she was the greatest musician of the 20th Century. She didn’t write many songs, but the ones she wrote were among the most profound of the era. Be My Husband was one such song. The lyrics spin a paradox of romantic assertion and submission. This live version of the song was recorded at an Antony and the Johnsons concert at the Knitting Factory in NYC in 1999.”
Although both quite rough recordings, particularly ‘It’s all over now, baby blue’, which distorts on occasion, and has fairly rudimentary sound quality, but as with everything Anohni does, they both sparkle and become something incredible in her hands, her vocal seemingly otherworldly, beautiful and emotive. As such, it’s a artistic document that you have to hear.
So here it is.