With youthful female singers being flavour of the month, at 28, Londoner Anna Calvi can be considered a late bloomer. Her musical career began playing the guitar but shyness prevented her from singing until her early twenties. This is hard to fathom considering the sheer power she generates on her debut album.
Calvi is undeniably a virtuoso. It’s a brave move opening a debut album with a surf guitar solo and then she follows it up by seducing like Alison Goldfrapp for ‘No More Words’. The verses to ‘First We Kiss’ tells us more about her vulnerability but the swooping orchestral finale is a joy to behold. ‘Desire’, the melodramatic, multi-octave brilliance of ‘Suzanne And I’ and the thunderous thrills of ‘Blackout’ are the most memorable songs and tellingly the most commercial too but in this company, the instrumental segments (regardless of how technically proficient they are) tend to serve as a distraction from the main event.
Calvi is a unique performer, capable of taking on a number of styles with considerable aplomb and adding her distinctive qualities to each. The by-product of this is that the album occasionally lacks cohesion but it’s easy to tell all the elements are here to confirm that Calvi is a future star.
PJ Harvey, Goldfrapp