Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Anna Calvi is ravishing the internet

Much as I appreciated PJ Harvey's album in a "well, this is all incredibly clever" kind of way, it was far from being my favourite record on the 2012 Mercury shortlist. Tinie Tempah was too commercial, and Metronomy were too good to win - so my choice for the prize was Anna Calvi. If nothing else, she needed the £20,000 just to keep her in hair lacquer.

For the uninitiated, Anna is a tiny mouse of a woman strapped to a honking great Fender Telecaster, with a voice that reaches deep into your soul and gives it a thorough seeing to.

Her previous singles Blackout and Desire are basically musical aphrodisiacs, drenched in pheremone and dripping with lust. The post-Mercury follow-up, Suzanne And I, initially seems just as libidinous, with its insistent refrain "we will never be apart". But Anna says there's a much more mysterious story behind the lyrics.

"It's about falling asleep and getting lost in your dream, and perhaps meeting someone or seeing your unconcious and making the decision to run away into your imagination and never wake up. It was inspired by a film called My Winnipeg, where a guy wants to leave this town but everyone in the town keeps falling asleep and he can't leave. It's very surreal and strange. I wrote it the day after I watched the movie."

So what we have is a song about death that's the aural embodiment of lust. Disturbing, but brilliant. But disturbing.

Anna Calvi - Suzanne And I

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