Anna Calvi is a half-Italian, half-English south Londoner who appears to have just composed the rightful follow-up to Jeff Buckley’s ‘Grace’. Her debut album is all that Buckley’s was 15 years ago – grand, melodramatic and piercing, shot through with equal measures of doomed melancholy and spiralling euphoria, full of space and passion, idealism and heroic melody. With a rich, guttural voice and beautifully expressive guitar-playing that brings to mind Ennio Morricone’s spaghetti Western film scores, Calvi weaves darkly cinematic, romantic songs that feel classic enough to avoid accusations of cheese, and immersive enough to be utterly believable. A debut record this instantly striking, impressive and bold is a rare thing. Occasionally rough around the edges, it is, but as a 40-minute ride through such intense territory, ‘Anna Calvi’ is exhilaratingly breath-quickening.

By Sam Walton

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