Album Review

Strange Weather

Strange Weather

by Anna Calvi


Dominion Record
8 / 10
13th August 2014

Reviewed by Louisa Kasza


It can’t be easy to settle on five tracks to cover that will go on to form the entirety of a release. Anna Calvi has done just that, and even titled it after one of the tracks covered: Strange Weather. It feels like a symbolic handing over of the reins – something Calvi might find refreshing after years spent carving out a niche for her distinctive persona.

Calvi opted to release an EP rather than a full-length studio album which, combined with her use of covers, sets a playful tone. Connan Mockasin and FKA Twigs share the virtues of being both talented and hip, and covering their tracks updates Calvi’s classical aesthetic somewhat. 'Papi Pacify' is a worthy response to the lush unease of the original, replacing Twigs’ sweet, breathy vocals with Calvi’s powerful ones. However, the world probably could have done without an 'I’m the Man, That Will Find You' cover, as it loses much of its creepy charm without Mockasin at the helm.

More success comes with 'Strange Weather', a dramatic composition that marries the vocals of Calvi and David Byrne with a strange, muffled drumbeat like someone knocking over a plastic bottle in the next room. The baroque romanticism of David Bowie’s 'Lady Grinning Soul' seems tailor-made for Calvi, and these both seem like more appropriate – if not conventional –choices.

One of the pleasures of a cover is that meaning becomes secondary to surface texture, not to mention the prowess of the musician. Although some covers will always be more successful than others, Calvi does justice to every track with her mixture of passion and technical skill.




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