Anna Calvi

Anna Calvi

Anna Calvi cultivated her talents as a girl in England, listening to her parents’ Maria Callas, Debussy, and Ravel records. Later she gravitated from her violin playing to guitar, listening to (and learning from) masters like Jimi Hendrix and Django Reinhardt. Her music is rich with drama, calling up touchstones like Ray Orbison, PJ Harvey, and her idol, Edith Piaf. Genres like flamenco, goth, and the blues—plus cinematic influences like James Bond theme songs and the dark visions of David Lynch—are also apparent. After becoming her fan (and unofficial mentor), Brian Eno joined her in the studio to record backup vocals on two of the strongest tracks: “Desire” and “Suzanne & I.” The album is produced by PJ Harvey producer and collaborator Rob Ellis. Calvi's best when she shepherds her disparate influences and powerful, intense voice into the rock arena, as she does on the tracks mentioned above and on the galloping “Blackout” and the spaghetti western–spiced “I’ll Be Your Man.” Nick Cave asked Calvi to join him on Grinderman’s 2010 tour, and a finer double bill is hard to imagine.

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