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Anna Calvi, the petite Latin beauty, has recently signed to Domino Records and releases her self-titled debut album this month. She has toured with Nick Cave’s Grinderman, and has a fan in ambient guru Brian Eno, who’s called her “the biggest thing since Patti Smith”. With astounding respect from such dignitaries and PJ Harvey’s long-term producer Rob Ellis on board, Calvi is destined for greatness.

With luscious red lips, dark eyes and tussled or scraped-back hair, Anna reveals to Clash her look evolved from her fascination with flamenco dancers. The intense passion and drama that the Spanish dancers evoke definitely struck a chord with Calvi, which shines through as a strong influence for her own potent energy, musically and stylistically.

Timid in person she comes alight in performance as a bold, sultry, Latin rock songstress. Themes of her album delve into the human psyche, exploring passion, romance, fear and loneliness - “internal human forces that are out of our control,” she says. Recording the album, she admits, was “a cathartic process”, which enabled her to process her powerful emotive thoughts and desires and channel them into the music.

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Anna worked on this album extensively over a period of three years, recording in her parents’ attic in South West London. Listening to a lot of Scott Walker, Edith Piaf and Nina Simone, she wrote and compiled material with her band over the years, building up an impressive arsenal of dark, lustful stories. Her first single ‘Jezebel’, originally written by Wayne Shanklin in 1951, was made famous by the inafmous French chanteuse Edith Piaf. It is fittingly one of her favourites from the album - a song about a fallen devil child.

The aforementioned Nick Cave is also among her musical inspirations. On her recent tour with the Aussie dark lord she said: “He kept the band entertained with stories of how he used to trash Iggy Pop’s dressing room when they played together.” Did he give her any advice, we ask. Only to begin working on her next album, Anna admits, but for the moment she is keen to concentrate on her UK tour, which she’s understandably excited about. “I get a chance to get my music out to lots of people and get recognised for being a musician.” She better get used to being recognised.

Words: Camilla Felici
Photographer: Jessie Craig
Art Direction: Paul Sethi
Stylist: Camilla Felici
Stylist Assistant: Loisa Mulligan
Special Thanks to The Russian club studios & Noodles


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