10. Antony & The Johnsons – ‘Hope There’s Someone’ (2004)

“Hope there’s someone who’ll take care of me
When I die, will I go?

Hope there’s someone who’ll set my heart free
Nice to hold, when I’m tired

There’s a ghost on the horizon, when I go to bed
How can I fall asleep at night?
How will I rest my head?”

Written by Antony

Produced by Antony

Taken from the album I Am A Bird Now

UK #44

Most of Antony Hegarty’s work centers around loneliness, isolation and being an outsider. His androgyny and unclear sexuality feeds his artistry, which in turn won the hearts of thousands worldwide as he came to prominence with the album I Am A Bird Now. At the end of 2005, Pitchfork named ‘Hope There’s Someone’ the best track of the year, forming a general consensus with most critics that Antony’s most popular song so far was also his best. The opening song on the album, it had captured Antony’s ghostly, mysterious appeal and emotional performance style better than any of his other works.

How does one express in mere words the pure magic of Antony’s voice on ‘Hope There’s Someone’? It is quite simply one of the most impressive vocal performances on record, the work of a monumental artist, one who has emerged as an unlikely indie hero, and one of the most acclaimed new singers of the decade. Antony paints such a vivid picture with these lyrics, still cryptic but among his most relatable and accessible. Unable to sleep due to a paralysing fear of dying alone, and of what will happen after, Antony dreams of ghosts on horizons, of being stuck in a limbo after he dies but before he moves on.

“Oh, I’m scared of the middle place
Between light and nowhere
I don’t want to be the one
Left in there, left in there”

I have never heard such desperate alienation and heartache. ‘Hope There’s Someone’ may not be the happiest song in the world, but I’d rather be challenged and upset by art than have it be pleasantly inoffesive. You might cry when you hear ‘Hope There’s Someone’, but feeling something means you’re alive – and the fear of that feeling disappearing is what this song is all about.

Music video:

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