Your Monday morning rush of emotion: Antony Hegarty’s duet with Bjork

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It’s true that the screen for this YouTube ‘video’ is black -- as in no images, no words, just black. The most obvious reason for the blackness is that this is a leak, not a video, from Antony Hegarty’s upcoming album, ‘Swanlights,’ but it also works nicely for this duet between Hegarty and one of his heroes, the Nordic glacial bird Bjork.

‘Flétta’ has so much emotional range packed into its four-plus minutes that you need a solid base to return to, for calm, for relief, for an elegantly nil counterpoint. Maybe that’s a lot to read into an image-less YouTube upload, but try listening to these two and see if you don’t experience a rush of what psychiatrists have called ‘feelings.’

Here they are, Antony and Bjork, stranded on a landscape where Antony’s piano forges the only footpath out. The two of them intertwine lines, Bjork rolling her r’s like fussy royalty, Hegarty coiling around her voice with his own tremulous but certain quaver. At the middle point, the piano becomes more assertive and choppy but it returns to the opening pensive point again. For the rest of the song, those sides trade off, each becoming more potent until it bows out at the end with no sense of resolution, only a sense that a conversation like this is continuous, timeless.

‘Swanlights’ drops Oct. 12 from Secretly Canadian, a perfect entree to autumn.


Oh yeah, there’s another version of this leak circulating with some slow-motion video of great whites and other big sea creatures swimming around. But it’s not nearly as good, imho.

-- Margaret Wappler