Everybody got some favourite albums. Music that accompanied yourself through difficult times, records that acted like a friend when there was real one around. Whether it was the sound around the times of your first kiss or the starting point of your own attempts to take a deeper look into new musical territories. We all have this record somewhere in our hearts and private collections. In this category NOTHING BUT HOPE AND PASSION lets the artists do the writing as they share their personal stories and feelings on their most loved record with us.
American singer Tom Krell, better known as HOW TO DRESS WELL, released his latest record Care just a few weeks ago and is currently on tour (find the dates below): There could be no better time to get to know a little bit more about some personal musical preferences of his. What inspired Krell to create his music? According to him, it is especially one single – Cripple and the Starfish by New York band ANTONY AND THE JOHNSONS. For those who are a bit younger: you might have heard about the solo project of the group’s leading singer, ANOHNI, who had quite a big moment earlier this year with her stunning debut album Hopelessness.
Listening to the late 90’s track Krell picked as his favourite, one can definitely relate to the artist’s affectation for melancholia in his own tracks. Let’s have a look on what he has to tell.
Antony And The Johnsons – ‘Cripple And The Starfish’ (1998)
The first album I ever purchased was ONYX’s Bacadufucup. My Grandma bought it for me— she was a legend! But, more important, was an actual record – a 7″ Single I bought when I was 14 with my friend Jamie. It was Cripple and the Starfish from ANTONY AND THE JOHNSONS (released on a split-single with CURRENT 93). I remember this really rad industrial dude at the record store in my hometown (Boulder, CO). He told us to stop being emo losers and buy some real music. What a hero. It was so weird listening to it! It was very different from all the other music I had heard— it had a very special emotional energy to it, a queerness I had never heard in song, and a perverse philosophical depth I never knew music could contain.
Since buying that record, I’ve listened to it probably 1000 times. It’s truly a masterpiece. I almost feel like it exposed me to the very specific, intramundane spiritual quality of music that now basically orients my entire life! I recommend it to all belovers of more complex music, it’s still one of her best songs— there are lots to choose from now that she’s made so many great records, but this is a truly special song! Even when it’s obviously the prequel to something like Fistful of Love, I am of the mind that The Crying Light is the best record she’s made. But these days I’m more likely listening to New Age Music than Antony.
Intro by Kai Hermann