Before releasing her eponymous debut album, Anna Calvi had been lauded by numerous pundits, culminating in a nomination for the BBC’s Sound of 2011. For once, please believe the hype it is justified. Why take so long to post anything about her I hear you ask? Simple. I wanted to do this wonderful album the justice it deserves.
This album is an enthralling collection of brooding and dramatic gothic pop-songs, these sweeping multi-textured scores feel almost classical at times. The English songstress will capture you from the very first note of the atmospheric wandering guitar instrumental opener ‘Rider to the Sea’. There is a striking air of confidence expelled by this record. Unafraid to take chances, we witness an effortless switch between the rich and brassy Bond-movie-esque ‘Suzanne And I’ and the sparse climactic centrepiece ‘The Devil’ or the swooning ‘Blackout’.
These entrancing pieces are intricately woven together to form an equally thrilling and chilling experience, her vocals, wow! She delivers raw, primeval emotion time after time. Even though the themes explored may be dramatic and dark at times it is overwhelmingly uplifting, each piece of instrumentation is filled with a warm, fuzzy glow.
So, three months since it’s release and it is just as captivating now, as then. This is without doubt one of the finest albums of 2011 and it is so much more than a flash-in-a-pan – I only hope I’ve done it justice.