Produced by Thomas Bartlett (The National, Antony & The Johnsons, Sam Amidon) and recorded in New York, this mini album features covers of tracks by Suicide, David Bowie, FKA twigs and Connan Mockasin, as well as a stunning collaboration with David Byrne on the title track, a cover of Keren Ann’s ‘Strange Weather’.
The cover of Suicide’s Ghost Rider was recorded with drummer Matt Johnson (Jeff Buckley) and Nico Muhly contributes string arrangements to the opener, a deconstructed organic reworking of FKA twigs’ ‘Papi Pacify’.
Vinyl 12" £7.99 RUG600T
12" EP on Domino.
- Includes download code
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- Strange Weather by Anna Calvi
Anna Calvi returns to place her reddest of red lips around a bunch of covers to 'make up' this mini LP. See what I did there?
I’m not inspired by the choice of covers which are either by in-vogue hipsters (Connan Mockasin, FKA Twigs) or by much covered legends (Suicide, David Bowie). It doesn’t matter though once the music starts as I like what Anna has done with these songs. Its like she has added a dose of slink to her dark lady rock and there is more than a hint of Jeff Buckley to the proceedings. The opener ‘Papi Pacify’ is a slab of eerie back-street late night slink, all sinewy guitar lines and sensual vocals. Cor blimey, I think I'd better go for a sit down. I’d better head on to ‘I’m The Man Who Will Find You’ which is even more slinky with a Curtis Mayfield feel to the soulful guitar lines. She strips the song right back to its bare bones and by gum it just might work. Suicide’s ‘Ghost Rider’ is I think is less successful, R.E.M already covered this pretty well back in the ‘80’s but thats not the reason - it appears to be played a bit too fast and Calvi doesn’t sound as connected to the material as you might hope. It sounds like a cover whereas Calvi makes the other tracks her own.
She duets with David Byrne on the title track, he really has ironed out all the remaining yelp from his voice hasn’t he? Its ok, the kind of duet people do just because they are able to. The closing ‘Lady Grinning Soul’ is a torch song in the style of Billy Mckenzie. A mixed bag, as you might expect, but there is some seriously impressive material on this.
9/10 The Drift 30th September 2014
Overall this is an attractive package with excellent production with real depth and clarity (yet still retaining an edgy quality that compliments these reworkings beautifully). The highlight is arguably the well paced cover of Suicide's 'Ghost Rider' which retains much of the simplicity of the original whilst stamping it firmly with the Calvi watermark; energetic with An acknowledgement Vega's add libs. Another highlight is a reworking of Bowie's 'Lady Grinning Soul' with a stripped back arrangement for the piano leaving Calvi to exploit her voice in terms of range, breath and a lovely subtle croon. All the other reworkings are excellent too and The 12"'vinyl comes with download codes!
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