INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
"Craft is what enables you to be successful
when you're not inspired." - Brian Eno
Wall Street Journal MARCH 5, 2011 - by Jim Fusilli
ANNA CALVI'S INTRODUCTION DELAYED - BUT WON'T BE DENIED
Though her self-titled album is one of the year's early pleasures, the introduction of Anna Calvi to rock and pop audiences in North America will be delayed. She sprained her arm in a minor accident, she said by phone from southwest London. Concerts in New York, Toronto and Montreal are postponed and showcases at the South by Southwest Festival in Austin later this month are off.
It's likely to be a minor setback for Calvi, whose album introduces us to a vocalist of uncommon authority. With an approach that's both retro and of-the-moment, Anna Calvi brings to mind Angelo Badalamenti, Shirley Bassey, Jeff Buckley, Nick Cave, Chrissie Hynde, Edith Piaf, Scott Walker and others during the course of its ten songs. It was co-produced by Calvi and Rob Ellis, who's best known for his work with P.J. Harvey. Brian Eno, who is said to have called her "the biggest thing since Patti Smith", appears on two tracks.
Though 2011 is still young, it's unlikely there will be any debut this year in rock and pop that's as striking as Anna Calvi. It's a compelling album that promises a long, fruitful career for her.
In addition to her stirring voice and poised delivery, Calvi plays all the album's guitar parts as well as much of its piano and bass. She also arranged and performed the strings on three tracks. Thus, there was no thought to bringing in other musicians to fill in for her on tour while she recovers. "I don't think that could work," she said, adding, with a laugh that her arms are "quite important." Calvi wrote all the songs on the disk; in concert, her repertoire can include covers of compositions by David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, Piaf and TV On The Radio
Calvi said she'll intends to return to North America in May to showcase her album and talents.
Her U.K. tour, which was also postponed, will be rescheduled. In June, she'll appear at the mammoth Glastonbury Festival.