When listening to music, we mainly search for opposites: delicacy and energy, rhythms and silence, violence and poetry. In this meaning Anna Calvi’s third album is paradigmatic, with the presence, in each song, of refined pop sounds and the rough energy that the British artist shows singing and playing guitar. After the success of her first album and the positive feedback of the second One Breath, Anna Calvi released Hunter (via Domino Records) which features band mates Mally Harpaz and Alx Thomas and also Adrian Utley (Portishead) and Martyn Casey (Bad Seeds).
It is a powerful opera in which you can get yourself into the dark style of Anna’s voice (the closest example to Siouxie Sioux that I can remember) and the delicate structure of the songs. Without the need to choose, because Hunter is dedicated to the freedom of being what you want to be, changing identity as you like. “Through the process of making this record and writing these songs I found myself questioning whether I wanted to identify as a “woman’, with all the limitations that this label brings.”
Hunter means that everyone, man or woman, can be a hunter, apart of the gender. This is the freedom Anna is looking for in her life, and it is her message to us. For this reason Anna brings her music to the limit of vulnerability and power in the same song. All the album is made of this and it is a pleasure to listen to it. It’s her watermark.
The title track, “Hunter”, has a dramatic gait, filtered by the melodic line and the refrain; Anna’s voice is warm and tense and the track is a potential hit. “Don’t Beat The Girl Out Of My Boy” talks about the freedom to express our identity out of the cultural limits, and the guitar leads a tra full of energy. Songs like “Indies Or Paradise” offer the darkest side of Anna’s poetry, with the powerful vocals suddenly moves to a whisper. Hunter and prey, also in the slow “Swimming Pool”, in which she transforms herself in something close to Nick Cave style. A big space is given to synth and bass lines, while her typical guitar style appears sometimes to remember that, in the end, Anna is a rock soul.
This third album tell us about her greatness, her unspeakable grace and stylistic vehemence with a particular attention to the aesthetics of the sound that made his message more meaningful and powerful.