Anwen Crawford

Anwen Crawford is the Monthly’s music critic and the author of Live Through This.

Articles by this author

The intangible beauty of The Clientele’s ‘Music for the Age of Miracles’
Another summer’s night
On any given suburban street at dusk, when some houses lie empty and the occupants of the rest are lost to their ordinary duties, there is a sound that can be heard, if you listen...
The majesty of Björk, new releases from Ibeyi and The Orbweavers, and more
The Monthly music wrap: September 2017
Björk’s new single, ‘The Gate’, released last week, must be one of the most extraordinary things she’s ever done, which is saying something. For more than 30 years now she’s been...
Lana Del Rey gets a little happier on ‘Lust for Life’
Torch songs
“Climb up the ‘H’ of the Hollywood sign,” sings Lana Del Rey on ‘Lust for Life’, the title track of her new album. “In these stolen moments the world is mine.” The song is a duet...
Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan bring their signature banter – and talk of mortality – on ‘The Trip to Spain’
A new location, familiar terrain
Comedians Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan are not quite friends, but nor are they enemies. They are definitely rivals. In The Trip to Spain and its preceding instalments, The...
Image of Jen Cloher
Jen Cloher’s self-titled album is a unique take on the trials of a touring musician
On the road again
There’s a long tradition of rock musicians writing songs about the difficulty of life on the road. AC/DC’s ‘Highway to Hell’ is surely the most famous, and the best, its mood...
Vale Simon Holmes and Dr G Yunupingu
The Monthly music wrap: July 2017
In lieu of a news and music round-up, I want to pay tribute to two outstanding local musicians who passed away this month, both prematurely. The first, Simon Holmes, was a...
With their two new other-worldly albums, Shabazz Palaces continue to evade categorisation
Parallel universes
Seattle duo Shabazz Palaces sound like a broadcast delivered underwater, in another language. Their manner is purposeful and their message close to inscrutable. The group’s two...
Image of Lorde
The return of Lorde, Frank Ocean and Radiohead live in Denmark, ‘OK Computer’ at 20, and more
The Monthly music wrap: June 2017
I can’t pretend that I’ve ever enjoyed the music of New Zealand singer-songwriter Lorde, but listening to her second album, Melodrama, which was released this month, I can...
Image of Doctor Who producer Verity Lambert reviewing sound-effect tapes produced by the BBC Radiophonic Workshop
The Radiophonic Workshop, creator of those ‘Doctor Who’ sound effects, is back
Time Lords
For 40 years, inside a building on a modest side street in Maida Vale, west London, on the site of a former rollerskating rink, there existed a doorway to another world. Had...
The crisis in Australian arts coverage
When no one is left
Many years ago I happened upon a discussion of the word critique, in a book by the American philosopher and political scientist Wendy Brown, that has stuck with me ever since. “...
Kelly Reichardt’s latest film is another quiet triumph
The particular lives of ‘Certain Women’
Kelly Reichardt makes films – six features so far – that are scrupulous, concise, and very, very quiet. She concentrates on the lives of ordinary Americans, mostly women, who come...
A new compilation celebrates the devotional music of jazz legend Alice Coltrane
Feel the divine
Between 1982 and 1995, one of America’s foremost jazz musicians recorded a series of albums that were only ever made available on cassette tape. To obtain one you had to send away...
With his new album, ‘Damn’, Kendrick Lamar cements his status as the world’s reigning hip-hop artist
Kendrick rising
On Good Friday, rapper Kendrick Lamar released his fourth album, Damn. On the night of Easter Sunday, he was the closing headliner at the massive, three-day Coachella music...
The documentary is a powerful examination of the OJ Simpson trial within the context of race relations in the US
Race, celebrity and power in ‘OJ: Made in America’
OJ Simpson became famous because he could get away. As a child he suffered from rickets and wore braces on his legs; as a young man he set a National Football League record by...
Image of George Michael
On George Michael, race and pop
Crossing over
After the death of the singer and songwriter George Michael, at the end of last year, I found myself watching one clip on YouTube repeatedly. It wasn’t a George Michael...
Still from Moonlight
Barry Jenkins’ film turns the universal coming-of-age story into something very specific and intimate
The surprising ‘Moonlight’
During the first act of the tripartite Moonlight, an adult man, Juan (Mahershala Ali), shows a young boy, nicknamed Little (Alex Hibbert), how to sit at his table. “You can’t sit...
Image of Helen Tufts and Helena Born
Emily Witt’s ‘Future Sex’ and Sheila Rowbotham’s ‘Rebel Crossings’ approach the concept of free love from different perspectives
Climax isn’t the point
In the middle of a one-day workshop run by OneTaste, a San Francisco company dedicated to the practice and promotion of orgasmic meditation, participants are required to face each...
Image of Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Springsteen is the consummate live performer
Who’s the boss now?
When Bruce Springsteen arrived in Australia late in January for a month-long tour, his third such in four years, Donald Trump had just become president of the United States. Both...