Anna Calvi Continues Trek Across UK, Third Album ‘Hunter’ Nominated for Mercury Prize

Anna Calvi during her live performance at Bluedot Fest in Cheshire - All Photos by Melanie Smith

Photos and Words by MELANIE SMITH

Anna Calvi continued her trek across the UK to perform her solo show to open the three-night stand of musical innovators and pioneers inspired by the work of David Lynch.

Her new album is Hunter and it’s every bit as edgy as one would hope from the innovative singer and guitarist.

Calvi is among the most captivating live performers today, and the small show captured all the emotion she brought on stage.

Calvi performed a number of songs off her new album, Hunter, but intersperced them with some favorites.

She was joined by Dorset singer-songwriter Douglas Dare, who played from his forthcoming album for the first time in Manchester.

They also got support from Chrysta Bell, a regular David Lynch collaborator.

Anna Calvi – Photos by Melanie Smith

Calvi has been busy of late. Calvi has written the score to the new series of the BBC’s “Peaky Blinders.”

“This is a new thing for me but it was a really good fit,” she said. “I love everything about the show. I completely immersed myself in it and became quite obsessed with the characters, especially Tommy Shelby [played by Cillian Murphy] and getting lost in his mind.”

The show is set to air on BBC One later this year.

Anna Calvi’s third album, Hunter, has been shortlisted for the 2019 Hyundai Mercury Prize ‘Albums of the Year,’ it was announced.

“I’m so thrilled to get shortlisted, this is such a personal record and I put everything I had into it. It really means the world to me,” Calvi said.

Calvi has recently come off a string of live dates and has announced more.

The dynamic songstress has now been Mercury-shortlisted for each of her three albums, Hunter follows 2013’s One Breath and her self-titled debut in 2011. 

Hunter is a visceral album exploring sexuality and breaking the laws of gender conformity. For the songwriter and virtuosic guitarist, it was a catharsis, an opportunity to be more truthful than ever. 

Produced by Nick Launay, it has a rawness and a primal energy into which Calvi pushed the limits of her guitar and voice beyond anything she’s recorded before. 

Talking about the record upon its release last year, Anna said: “I’m hunting for something – I want experiences, I want agency, I want sexual freedom, I want intimacy, I want to feel strong, I want to feel protected and I want to find something beautiful in all the mess.”

Anna Calvi - Live Photos by Melanie Smith
Anna Calvi – Live Photos by Melanie Smith

Additional Mercury Prize Nominees

Anna Calvi – ‘Hunter’
Black Midi – ‘Schlagenheim’
Cate Le Bon – ‘Reward’
Dave – ‘Psychodrama’
Foals – ‘Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost – Part 1’
Fontaines D.C. – ‘Dogrel’
IDLES – ‘Joy as an Act of Resistance’
Little Simz – ‘Grey Area’
Nao – ‘Saturn’
Seed Ensemble – ‘Driftglass’
slowthai – ‘Nothing Great About Britain’
The 1975 – ‘A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships’

Calvi also recently shared the news that she has written and performed the score for the entire new season of BBC One’s “Peaky Blinders,” which is due to air later this year. 

Calvi will play The Echo on Wed., Dec. 4 and Rough Trade in Brooklyn, NY on Sat., Dec. 6.

Anna Calvi – Photo by Melanie Smith at Bluedot Festival, Cheshire

 Hunter is available to buy on deluxe LP, LP, CD and digitally: Dom Mart | Stream 

Upcoming live dates

26th – 28th July – Womad festival, Wiltshire, UK
26th – 28th July – Deer Shed festival, Topcliffe, UK
31st July – Suoni di Marca festival, Treviso, Italy
2nd – 4th August – Playground festival, Glasgow, UK
2nd – 4th August – All Together Now festival, Portlaw, Ireland
8th August – Kulturarena Jena, Jena, Germany
11th August – Edinburgh International Festival @ Leith Theatre, UK
16th – 18th August – Pukkelpop festival, Hasselt, Belgium
19th August – Helsinki Festival, Helsinki, Finland
21st August – PopKultur festival, Berlin, Germany
22nd – 24th August – EDP Vilar de Mouros festival, Portugal
23rd – 25th August – Future Yard festival, Birkenhead, UK
31st August – Live Rock festival, Acquaviva Picena, Italy