Album: Anna Calvi, Anna Calvi (Domino)
Sunday 16 January 2011
It is almost certainly for the best that, although longlisted for the BBC's Sound of 2011 confection, 28-year-old Londoner Anna Calvi did not make the top-five cut.
The clue is in the name: the poll predicts those acts the public might listen to this year; Calvi – if her debut album is anything to go by – will be around a good deal longer than that.
To describe her music could never do it justice. There are shades of Florence, Maria Callas, PJ Harvey and even, when she lets her fingers fly, Tom Verlaine. Her songs are dark, at times sinister studies on themes of lust and the devil, and, though she is no stranger to restraint, by track four she's giving it the full Shirley Basseys, as if she's recording the theme for a Bond film directed by Tarantino.
Pop has its place and all that, but for serious lovers of serious music, Calvi is the one to watch.
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