Riot Grrrls, lady rockers, queens of noise, songstresses, and alpha ladies have always held a special place in my heart. Suzi Quatro, Joan Jett, Lita Ford, Wendy O. Williams, Kate Bush, Chrissie Hynde, Debbie Harry, Siouxsie Sioux, PJ Harvey, St. Vincent, Carla Bruni, Aldous Harding, Isabella Manfredi, and others are among those who have performed.
Anna Calvi, a British goth-rock guitar virtuoso, is the one I’m now obsessed with. She’s also known for her powerful, versatile operatic contralto voice and her occasionally androgynous stage presence. Three Mercury Prize nominations, one Brit Award nomination, and a European Border Breakers Award are among her honours.
Her eponymous debut album (2011), followed by One Breath (2013), EP Strange Weather (2014), and third full-length Hunter (2018) have gained critical acclaim, earning her two Mercury Prize nominations for Album of the Year.
Q describes Anna Calvi as “the prodigious wash of sound that recalls Ennio Morricone, Duane Eddy, and even Jimi Hendrix in its fluidity.”
Her musical style is a combination of dark, romantic, and atmospheric pop; she often uses high levels of reverb while playing guitar. She has stated that the powers of lust are an inspiration, and her performances are deliberately sexually charged.
Calvi has identified Nina Simone, Maria Callas, Jimi Hendrix, The Smiths, and the Rolling Stones as influences, as well as Captain Beefheart’s blues, David Bowie’s, Nick Cave’s, and Scott Walker’s stage performances, and classical composers Messiaen, Ravel, and Debussy.
Calvi has also spoken of the influence of the films of Gus Van Sant, Wong Kar-Wai, and David Lynch on her music. She admires “people that make beautiful films where the cinematography tells the story”, and attempted to emulate this in her work.
💧 You might also like ALDOUS HARDING: ART POP ENIGMA.
Featured image via NME