Album Reviews

Album review: Anna Calvi – Anna Calvi (Domino)

By | Published on Wednesday 19 January 2011

Anna Calvi

My first thought after listening to this album in its entirety was: “PJ Harvey, step aside”. And that is not a statement that should be taken lightly. PJ Harvey is a legend, am I right? Enter Anna Calvi – a one woman machine who missed out on the BBC Sound of 2011 final five by the skin of her teeth, a singer-songwriter and guitar player extraordinaire with a voice like silk that will haunt you for days.

Her eponymous debut is so good that it feels alive. She brandishes a kind of dark, alternative pop somewhere between the atmospheric theatrics of Nick Cave and the Stateside cool of dark surf-rock and southern blues. Opening instrumental track ‘Rider To The Sea’ is a stellar showcase of those guitar skills, a talent that would make Dick Dale weep himself into a stupor; Calvi’s enigmatic vocals then come in for ‘No More Words’, gentle at first, easing us in at first before she sores through the thrilling, Siouxsie-esque ‘Suzanne And I’ and the powerful ‘Blackout’. The album positively drips with effortless cool.

Cynical though I am when reading these “tipped to be so massive they’ll eclipse the sun” end of year/beginning of year lists, I can’t help but bite my tongue this year given that this lady has featured on many of them – meaning they surely have something right. Though I’m surprised she hasn’t topped any of them. TW

Physical release: 17 Jan
Press contact: Domino IH