A covers EP? Who on earth could tell if they didn’t already know some or all of these 5 tracks. Calvi handles the material of others with incredible skill and passion. By the time you reach the penultimate track and the one that gave the EP its name, with David Byrne’s gorgeous tones coming out the speakers on this wholly beautiful duet the whole package has been well and truly sold. In fact, no sooner than Anna Calvi’s voice enters the song you realise just what she is capable of. Cinematic doesn’t even begin to describe her sound, though perhaps it’s one of the best words. It’s not simply a great EP but includes some of the highest quality of covers to be heard.
Calvi doesn’t just play these songs, she owns them. The way her voice soars and then whispers again is chilling, and she is an artist with a very interesting future. There are indications that she’s just getting started, still finding herself. Her two albums of original material have both been similarly magnificent, but when approaching this latest release I was slightly worried that it might be a simple stop-gap release to remind us she is still here. However, it’s a delightful addition to her canon and is truly executed perfectly. The heart and soul she has delivered other songs with is truly a sign of a complete artist. All that is left to do is enjoy her music and await her next move with baited breath. Superb.
One final thought, be they her own songs or those of others it’s hard to think of a female artist that has ever wielded both her voice and her guitar to such devastating effect. It is truly axe-like and wondrous to behold.
Words: Dominic J Stevenson