ANOHNI has announced a new album: My Back Was a Bridge for You to Cross arrives July 7 via Secretly Canadian, marking her first release credited to the Johnsons since 2010’s Swanlights. Today, she has shared lead single “It Must Change,” which arrives with a music video directed by Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard, starring British social justice activist Munroe Bergdorf. Watch that below, and scroll down to find the tracklist and LP artwork—which features a vintage portrait of human rights activist Marsha P. Johnson, taken by Alvin Baltrop.
“Many of the recordings on this record—like ‘It Must Change’ and ‘Can’t’—capture the first and only time I have sung those songs through,” wrote ANOHNI in a press release. “There’s a magic when you suddenly place words you have been thinking about for a long time into melody. A neural system awakens. It isn’t personal and yet is so personal. Things connect and come alive.”
Of the accompanying music video, she said: “Munroe Bergdorf has done so much service for British society. She always impresses me with her articulate grace. Munroe’s dignity and ethical courage are a guiding light.”
ANOHNI’s last solo album, Hopelessnessarrived in 2016, followed by the Paradise EP the next year. “I’ve been thinking a lot about Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On. That was a really important touchstone in my mind,” ANOHNI of her sixth studio album. “Some of these songs respond to global and environmental concerns first voiced in popular music over 50 years ago.”
She continued: “I want the record to be useful. I learned with Hopelessness that I can provide a soundtrack that might strengthen people in their work, in their activism, in their dreaming and decision-making. I can sing of an awareness that makes others feel less alone, people for whom the frank articulation of these frightening times is not a source of discomfort but a cause for identification and relief. I want the work to be useful, to help others move with dignity and resilience through these conversations we are now facing.”
The singer and songwriter began working on My Back Was a Bridge for You to Cross in 2022 alongside producer Jimmy Hogarth. ANOHNI brought Hogarth pages of lyrics, and, together, they pieced together demos with ANOHNI playing piano and Hogarth on guitar. Hogarth then assembled a studio band including Leo Abrahams, Chris Vatalaro, Sam Dixon, and string arranger Rob Moose to record the full ANOHNI and the Johnsons album.