Damon Lindelof, one of the masterminds behind Lost, has said on multiple occasions that when it came to selecting some of the show’s more iconic music (like Mama Cass’ “Make Your Own Kind of Music”), he’d just pick the music his mother used to listen to on Sunday mornings, “When she’d put on music, vacuum and cry.”
If his mother was starting that habit nowaday, she’d probably be listening to Antony & The Johnsons. Lead singer Antony Hegarty has a voice that sounds like it belongs to a Dostoyevsky character. Every song rides on an undercurrent of mournful reflection.
Which makes his new, relatively upbeat album all the more interesting. With Swanlights, Hagerty has cut an album that sounds like he’s actually trying to be happy. The undeniably somber quality of his voice adds texture and nuance to the tracks, without making them seem like an exercise in wallowing or self-pity.
Until October 12, you can check out the album in its entirety on NPR.org. Nothing on there is going to make it onto your “get psyched,” but it might just be what you play the next time you’re cleaning your apartment.