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Anohni Colin Whitaker

ANOHNI releases covers of Bob Dylan and Nina Simone

03 August 2020, 15:56 | Written by Cerys Kenneally

ANOHNI has unveiled her first releases of the year - covers of Bob Dylan's "It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue" and Nina Simone's "Be My Husband".

The covers are ANOHNI's first outings since last year's "KARMA" with J. Ralph and Jade Bell.

Discussing her Dylan cover, ANOHNI explains, "I recorded "It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue" with Kevin Barker one afternoon a few years ago. I listened to it recently and it reminded me of Now, a nausea of nostalgia for the suffering of the present, or even the future. I did a couple of songs by Bob Dylan at that time, encouraged by Hal Willner, the producer who we lost to Covid-19 in April."

She adds, "I hope that this period, and this repugnant presidency, will be over soon, and that these bigots and apocalyptic capitalists and evangelicals will crawl back into their rotten little holes. But how can this happen unless the American media and social media are forced to tell the truth? I am glad to see the mobilisation of Black Lives Matter and the re-emergence of the Occupy movement. When Biden said "Americans don’t want revolution, they want a return to decency," he was wrong. We all know deep down that the continuation of our civilisations for much longer will require seismic change."

ANOHNI says of her Simone cover, "I saw Nina Simone perform at Carnegie Hall in 1991 while I was still in college. The concert was not properly publicised, and the theater was only half full. I think it may have been her first time back in NYC in many years. She was rumored to be volatile and unpredictable. That night she sang and played with such dignity, so incredibly, and she did five or six encores. For me, she was the greatest musician of the 20th Century. She didn’t write many songs, but the ones she wrote were among the most profound of the era. "Be My Husband" was one such song. The lyrics spin a paradox of romantic assertion and submission. This live version of the song was recorded at an Antony and the Johnsons concert at the Knitting Factory in NYC in 1999."

The musician is yet to follow up her 2016 LP Hopelessness.

ANOHNI's cover of Bob Dylan's "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" and Nina Simone's "Be My Husband" are both out now. A 7" vinyl will be released on 2 October via Secretly Canadian, and is available to pre-order now.
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