Anna Calvi – Anna Calvi

Album Review by Chris Buckle | 04 Jan 2011
Album title: Anna Calvi
Artist: Anna Calvi
Label: Domino
Release date: 17 Jan

It’s January, which means it’s time for the annual “BBC Sound of...” pasting to begin. There’s admittedly schadenfreude to enjoy watching shooting stars burn, but scoffing at such lists has become a peculiarly popular pastime. Anna Calvi finds herself in the top fifteen this year, so place your bets: will she live up to industry expectations and shift a shed-load à la Florence, or fumble and fade like Joe Lean?

The odds are noncommittal, though it’s heartening that an album incorporating instrumental spaghetti-western fret-work alongside pseudo-Bond themes and Patti Smith-style high drama can be widely considered a strong commercial prospect. The Devil encapsulates her enigmatic style, a ballad balancing on the verge of quivering exhaustion. Sales potential aside, here’s another bet: will Calvi stick to her bombast and potentially consolidate her debut’s considerable promise, or be meekly turning out weak Elton covers by the year’s end? Pray God the former. [Chris Buckle]

Playing The Arches, Glasgow on 27 Feb