© 2022 All Rights reserved WUSF
News, Jazz, NPR
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Antony Hegarty's Otherworldly Sound

Antony Hegarty performs at the Royal Albert Hall on March 28, 2006.
Jo Hale
/
Getty Images
Antony Hegarty performs at the Royal Albert Hall on March 28, 2006.

Antony Hegarty, lead singer of Antony and the Johnsons, has a striking sound — his singing has often been compared to Nina Simone's.

Music writer John Hodgman once described Hegarty's voice as "somewhere between male and female, between childish innocence and weary adulthood, at once ethereal and earthy," while Chicago Reader critic Noah Berlatsky writes that he "frames his soaring, throbbing, mannered, and decidedly androgynous voice with complex chamber-music arrangements. ... [But he] doesn't do winking flamboyance or irony — his music is earnestly, languidly, overwhelmingly romantic."

The androgynous singer, who spent his childhood in southern England and got his musical start in the drag bars of New York's East Village, has worked with Boy George, Rufus Wainwright and Lou Reed. In 2005, he and his ensemble won Britain's most prestigious music award, the Mercury Prize.

He joins Terry Gross to talk about his varied career, and about Antony and the Johnsons' new CD, The Crying Light.

Copyright 2022 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

Tags
WUSF 89.7 depends on donors for the funding it takes to provide you the most trusted source of news and information here in town, across our state, and around the world. Support WUSF now by giving monthly, or make a one-time donation online.