With her soaring voice and obvious ability on guitar, Anna Calvi went for the jugular on her Mercury nominated debut album (Clash review). Channelling her inner Springsteen, the album had an epic feel that masked a tender, personal style of songwriting.
But for her follow-up, Calvi has opted to remove the protective layer of The Boss for something rather more delicate, more downbeat.
An album of subtle, if sometimes striking, progression, ‘One Breath’ is a patient, carefully wrought work. Sure, that cinematic sweep is still there on occasion – notably lead single ‘Eliza’ (video below) – but for every moment of overblown drama there is a shy, retiring passage to enrapture your heartstrings.
Partially shocked into action by the death of a loved one, ‘One Breath’ is lyrically much more daring than Calvi’s debut. ‘Suddenly’ ends in ashes, while ‘Piece By Piece’ blends the grieving process to a neat, almost funky, bassline.
A far darker piece than her debut album, this is a downbeat yet profoundly affecting second act.
Words: Robin Murray
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Read an interview with Anna Calvi, about her new album, here.
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Stream tracks by Anna Calvi via Deezer, below…