Anwen Crawford

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

Articles by this author

Remembering New York street photographer Bill Cunningham
Streets ahead
New Yorkers love nothing more than a story about themselves. When Bill Cunningham: New York – a documentary about the much-loved photographer – debuted at New York’s Film Forum...
Culture Club at the Hordern Pavilion, Sydney, 11 June 2016
Melancholy undercurrents
You must understand: everything begins for me with Culture Club. By everything I mean pop music: an art form loose enough to accommodate so much else – history, fashion, politics...
Beyoncé in Lemonade
Beyoncé’s powerful ‘Lemonade’
The reckoning
“The most disrespected person in America is the black woman,” said Malcolm X, on 5 May 1962. It was part of a wide-ranging speech on racism that he gave at the funeral service of...
Anohni at the Joan Sutherland Theatre, Sydney Opera House, Vivid Sydney, 27 May 2016
Turning away
Anohni’s presentation of her recent album, Hopelessness – it’s not quite correct to describe it as a concert – began in her absence. For ten minutes or more the attention of the...
The defunding of Express Media and Voiceworks will destroy a good part of our country’s literary future
Express to nowhere
It takes a certain kind of young person to want to volunteer weeknights and half their weekends to the running of a literary magazine. Perhaps, one might venture, the kind of...
Anohni by Alice O'Malley
Beautiful suffering in PJ Harvey’s ‘The Hope Six Demolition Project’ and Anohni’s ‘Hopelessness’
In distress
English singer-songwriter Polly Jean Harvey, known professionally as PJ Harvey, released her first album, Dry, in 1992. Harvey’s rock songs, formed around her rasping electric...
The Drones
Gareth Liddiard on The Drones’ ‘Feelin Kinda Free’
Australian ugliness
Early on 1 December 1948, a man was found dead at Adelaide’s Somerton Beach. His pockets contained cigarettes, matches and chewing gum, but he had no wallet, and his clothing tags...
Best Picture Oscar-winner ‘Spotlight’ steers clear of triumphalism
The heroism of facts
Spotlight won the Oscar for Best Picture at yesterday’s 88th Academy Awards ceremony, on the same day that Cardinal George Pell, giving evidence before the Royal Commission into...
Rihanna’s ‘ANTI’ and Future’s ‘EVOL’
Songs for the 3 am
The Barbadian pop singer Rihanna and the Canadian rapper Drake have recorded three duets together. Each has been memorable, distinctive: the two performers encourage in each other...
The music industry cares more about the material value of women than it does about their safety
Kesha v Dr Luke
Last Friday afternoon, in the New York Supreme Court, the American singer and rapper Kesha Sebert, popularly known as Kesha, was denied a legal motion that would have released her...
Prince at the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall, 21 February 2016
Purple night
And there he was, life-sized, circling the piano in anticipation, as 2000 or so concert-goers screamed and clapped and whistled fit to bring the roof down. He carried a silver-...
The Triffids’ ‘Born Sandy Devotional’ 30 years on
One of the great Australian albums
Thirty years ago this month, Perth band The Triffids released their fifth single, ‘Wide Open Road’. It remains not only The Triffids’ best-known composition but also one of the...
Fledgling musicians hit Girls Rock
Loud, quiet, loud
It’s a hot Monday morning in Canberra, and there’s a new band in town. The Screaming Moths are Trinh, 11, on vocals; Sienna, 12, guitar; Abby, 10, drums; and Tash, 12, bass. The...
Mexrrissey at the Enmore Theatre, Sydney Festival, 23 January 2016
Live from Mexchester
Morrissey, the bard of Manchester, is big in Mexico. Like, really big – and bigger still in his adopted city of Los Angeles, where a lavishly devoted Mexican-American audience has...
Jenny Hval at the Famous Spiegeltent, Sydney Festival, 19 January 2016
Alluring and strange
Jenny Hval walks on stage wearing a pair of disposable overalls, accompanied by a male musician and a female dancer, similarly dressed. In their zippered paper outfits, the three...
Kev Carmody at the Magic Mirrors Spiegeltent, Sydney Festival, 17 January 2016
Flamin’ legend
Kev Carmody can do a lot with an acoustic guitar, and, it transpires, just as much without one. Before he appears in person on this warm Sydney afternoon, his audience gets a...
David Bowie knew what to give away, and what to keep for himself
The man who fell to Earth
There is a lot of saxophone on David Bowie’s latest, and last, album, Blackstar. Saxophone was Bowie’s first instrument – his father bought him a white Bakelite alto saxophone...
Sarah Gavron’s ‘Suffragette’
Deeds, not words
Suffragette opens in London during 1912, inside the humid confines of a commercial laundry. Maud Watts (Carey Mulligan) has been labouring there since the age of seven, under the...