annacalviANNA CALVI – ‘One Breath’
For the second time in two years, British singer songwriter Anna Calvi has made her way into Black Box Studios in France with her crooner attitude and vintage guitars, and walked out through the velvet curtain with a modern orchestral art rock masterpiece in her hands. She’s still with Domino Records for the new release but this time the post-production was wrapped up in Texas by her new producer John Congleton, who has a formidable list of credits; including projects with Saint Vincent, David Byrne, The Polyphonic Spree, The Black Angels, and Amanda Palmer, to name a few.  Congleton undoubtedly leaves his stamp on the album, which may have otherwise been limited in scope by Calvi’s intimate, self-confessional songwriting.  A few words come to mind when listening to One Breath: atmospheric, operatic, cinematic, provocative.  Each song has a familiar approach – her verses an intricate stairwell that leads to simple, thunderous stadium rock choruses.  She speaks her fateful message with a steady voice that projects for miles over a sort of Polyphonic Spree orchestral soundscape, creating a comfortable kind of chaos at times, and building to peaks of musical clarity and emotional divide at others; splitting her audience between a feeling of utter desperation and total empowerment.  Anna has the musical intellect and tact of a lady like Saint Vincent mixed with the crude, devilish soul of a rocker like PJ Harvey.  And this album could easily be her ticket into their world of rock and roll acclaim . ‘Sing to Me’ which was featured on the album’s trailer certainly shows the singer’s sickness for the cinematic. The song is a wave, which carries various instrumentation through a guise of effects so that nothing but her voice shines clear.  And the melody is a triumphant one – like the freedom of a dive off a cliff when you know you’ve succeeded in leaving all the evil of the world behind.  And yet at the bottom of that fall, is nothing but the ice cold, frothy sea and a mess of craggy rocks.  A totally transformative experience.  (8)



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