Anna Calvi’s gorgeous debut sounds completely out of step with the modern world – and that’s one of its key strengths.
Roy Orbison reborn as a young female Londoner.
The label that brought us the herky-jerky disco punk of Franz Ferdinand, the wordy but blokey student stomp of The Arctic Monkeys and the digital psychedelia of Animal Collective have now signed a young Londoner who sounds as if she has been beamed in from 1960s Argentina. And it is this eclecticism and refusal to try and replicate former successes that keeps the Domino label vital.
The tracks on Anna Calvi are bewitching slices of heavily reverbed rock’n’roll bolstered with shimmering bossa nova jazz flourishes and staccato flamenco attack. Rider To The Sea combines a Duane Eddy twang with dramatic backing vocals.
It’s unfortunate that most young female vocalists now get compared to either Kate Bush or Polly Harvey, but in Calvi’s case comparisons to the latter are more than justified, although Calvi has a more baroque ululation which constantly threatens to spill over into Diamanda Galas territory but never quite does.