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Antony and the Johnsons, ‘Cut the World’ – Song Review

Antony & the Johnsons
Secretly Canadian

A studio-produced track acting as the prelude of a live album, ‘Cut the World’ is lush and restrained. The song begins with strings as searching as predawn light, finding what they need in the beatific voice of Antony Hegarty, frontman of Antony and the Johnsons. Here Hegarty is accompanied by the Danish National Chamber Orchestra.

Hegarty is transgender, and his/her sexuality is at the center of the song, as encapsulated by the opening words “For as long as I’ve bared that feminine decree / I’ve always contained your desire to hurt me. “ The track is equal parts confession and proclamation, with Hegarty singing out a knee-quaking chorus of “when will I turn and cut the world.” His voice is sonorous and thick — an instrument and a gift, handled with graceful expertise. Hearing Hegarty, you get the feeling that he’s giving something of himself to the listener: It’s trying, triumphant and transparent.

In the verses he catalogs his sensitivities and what his eyes, skin, and heart carry from the world. Hegarty is a vessel, it seems, and the feelings he contains are let out beautifully.

‘Cut the World’ is from the revelatory album of the same name.

Listen to Antony and the Johnsons, ‘Cut the World’

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