Anwen Crawford

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

Articles by this author

Grimes’ puzzling ‘Art Angels’
Blank space
It is a rule of pop music, rarely flouted, that an artist with a new album to promote will release the strongest song first. So it was, or nearly was, with the 27-year-old...
Guns, girls, gags and a confusing plot – what more could you want from a Bond film?
Grinning skulls
Spectre begins, as a Bond film will, with an elaborate pre-title action sequence in an “exotic” location – this time, it’s Mexico City. The camera picks out Daniel Craig’s 007...
What makes a Bond theme song great?
For your ears only
‘Writing’s on the Wall’ is the title song to the newest James Bond film, Spectre, which is released this month. “I want to feel love / Run through my blood,” sings Sam Smith on...
Cold Chisel reconsidered
Standing on the outside
Someone somewhere in Australia is listening to a Cold Chisel song right now. Perhaps it’s you, tarrying with the ever-present ‘Khe Sanh’, or with ‘Choirgirl’, ‘Cheap Wine’, ‘...
Jess Ribeiro’s ‘Kill It Yourself’ and Sui Zhen’s ‘Secretly Susan’
Highway or driveway
Jess Ribeiro’s new album, Kill It Yourself, is like an American road trip with a detour via Melbourne, where she is based, or maybe via Perth. The pace is languid, and the mood is...
On the broad-sweep feminism of Laurie Penny
Style matters
Laurie Penny is a 28-year-old English feminist, author of four books, and a contributing editor at The New Statesman, which might be called Britain’s centre-left newspaper or its...
Icon as exhibit at ACMI’s ‘David Bowie Is’
Hallo spaceboy
Having travelled for nearly 5 billion kilometres to the outer limits of our solar system, the New Horizons space probe sent back its first data from a fly-by of Pluto on 14 July...
‘What Happened, Miss Simone?’ dir. Liz Garbus
Black fire
What Happened, Miss Simone?, a new feature-length documentary on Netflix about the life and music of America’s most defiantly unclassifiable popular performer, begins with footage...
Grace Jones at Vivid, Carriageworks, Sunday 31 May 2015
Keeping up with the Jones
Grace Jones is sui generis. Madonna, Lady Gaga, Rihanna: none of them are imaginable without Jones having gone before, melding pop music, high fashion and theatrical spectacle....
Image of Algiers
Punk and gospel influences combine to make the personal political on Algiers’ self-titled debut
Raised voices
Late in April, as protests grew in Baltimore over the death of an African-American man, Freddie Gray, who died after sustaining a severe spinal injury while in police custody, a...
Morrissey at Vivid Live, Opera House Concert Hall, Tuesday 26 May
True to you
Nobody loves Morrissey more than Morrissey does, though his fans do try their hardest. “His fans”: who am I trying to fool? There’s a man standing three paces away from me in the...
Sufjan Stevens at Vivid Live, Opera House Concert Hall, Friday 22 May 2015
A bathetic display
I leant forward in my seat when, two-thirds of the way through his lengthy set at the Sydney Opera House, Sufjan Stevens played ‘Casimir Pulaski Day’, his most beloved song. I was...
Brett Morgen’s ‘Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck’
Perfect hindsight
Nirvana headlined Britain’s Reading Festival on 30 August 1992, at the height of Nevermind mania, and the first footage we see in Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, a new HBO...
Róisín Murphy ends an eight-year absence from pop with ‘Hairless Toys’
Secret diva
Róisín Murphy has all the characteristics of a great pop star, except fame. She’s got the poise, she’s got the voice – a light, supple contralto, which she can bend from seductive...
Verse Chorus Press; $29.95
‘Buried Country’ by Clinton Walker
In Clinton Walker’s Buried Country: The story of Aboriginal country music, Bob Randall observes that Aboriginal people like himself could relate to the stories of loss in American...
Alex Ross Perry’s ‘Listen Up Philip’ and Noah Baumbach’s ‘While We’re Young’
Boys to men
Alex Ross Perry’s Listen Up Philip and Noah Baumbach’s While We’re Young are films about young male artists who become involved in difficult relationships of patronage with older...
Frédéric Tcheng’s ‘Dior and I’ reviewed
Deep pockets
Fashion, like architecture, is an art form that we cannot disengage from no matter how indifferent (or even antagonistic) we might be towards it. We all have to get dressed, we...
Sufjan Stevens’ ‘Carrie & Lowell’
Minus the trimmings
Why don’t I hate Sufjan Stevens? He plays the banjo. He plays the oboe. His stage shows have included hula hoops and cheerleaders. He has yet to meet an encyclopaedia entry that...