Antony & Cleopatra return with ‘The Island’
British/Australian duo ANTONY & CLEOPATRA have returned with a gothic and anxious banger in the form of ‘The Island’ – and the announcement that they will be taking the stage at this year’s Splendour in the Grass.
Consisting of British Ghanian Anita Blay and Aussie Alex Burnett, Antony & Cleopatra have been crafting in-your-face dance tracks since 2016, when their debut ‘Love is a Lonely Dancer’ made waves. Last year saw the duo really step things up with tracks like ‘Twitch’ and ‘Dust’ cementing their sound; minimal yet powerful slices of club pop full of analogue hooks, crisp percussion and strong vocals. ‘The Island’ sees them explore darker and more tumultuous territory while maintaining their four-to-the-floor vibe.
‘The Island’ leans closer to the duo’s 90s roots than previous tracks. With the vocals taking a turn to robotic spoken word, the instrumental is almost industrial with its alarm-like synth blares and samples. Meanwhile, percussion is as intense as ever, with the half-step hats crisper than we’ve ever seen blending with the classic Roland-707 ride and crash. Once the track gets going it never really misses a beat, compressing the push-and-pull dynamics of longer tracks like ‘Dust’ into a two-and-a-half minute tour-de-force of EBM adjacent goodness.
‘The Island’ is the first time we’ve seen Anita Blay rap rather than sing; with powerful presence and biting lyrics, she definitely pulls it off. It’s always great to see artists try new things, and even better to see them pull it off as well as Antony & Cleopatra have here. As a sample of their as-of-yet unnamed debut album it’s a perfect teaser, and we can’t wait to see what they pull out of the hat next.
WORDS BY MAX LEWIS