12 Plays of Christmas – ANONHI

If, like me, you’re English the next few days of your life will probably be filled with wrapping paper, an unhealthy  quantity of carbohydrates and enough mulled wine to wash away the last memories of your working life. You’ll wake on boxing day with a well-earned headache and covered in a thin veneer of glitter. This is the way things should be. At this point, you should not listen to this fantastic record. Save it for the time of resolutions.

There are two albums that sum up 2016 for me and this is the first of them. It is sharp, bitter and discordant. It looks at the world, it’s horror and it’s tragedy, and refuses to run. It screams we must do better. Welcome folks, to my seasonal cheer.

ANONHI is the project of 3 outstanding musicians, Hudson Mohawke, Oneohtrix Point Never and Anonhi, who have made a habit out of being unpredictable. 3 people who are happy in just being themselves and have nothing to prove to anyone. Hopelessness is the sound of anger and despair, oily and translucent, filtered to a pure, transparent glass of rage and sadness.

Drone Bomb Me is a song about guilt. Our guilt, as we read the papers and watch the news. Our guilt as we see how arbitrarily, how distantly, the world seems to pick who lives and dies. From behind a wall of ice-cold, spiky electronica it screams: choose me tonight

Given that one of the world’s leading super powers has just elected a climate change denier. Given that it will be hotter in the UK this Christmas than last year, the previous hottest  – despite me having to de-ice my car yesterday morning. Given that somewhere between 90 and 100% of experts agree that humans are responsible for climate change. Is there really a more apt, or important, pop song from the last year than 4 degrees? It is the sound of someone who cannot quite believe we’re not listening:

I wanna burn the sky, I wanna burn the breeze
I wanna see the animals die in the trees

Still with us? Having a lovely time? Excellent. The album closes with Marrow, a song of fragile and harrowing beauty. It knees globalisation in the balls and manages to look classy while doing it. We are all Americans now:

So, yes, it is a record of sadness and rage but also of beauty and necessity . Anonhi’s voice and words retain that thrilling and mesmeric quality that first made her stand out. The music, at first a background scribble to her immediacy, is slowly unveiled as an ornate monument of ice and fire. It is quite unlike anything else you’ll hear yet never sounds manufactured. It has soul.

You can buy Hopelessness from all sorts of places including ANONHI’s bandcamp page.

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