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ANNA CALVI

“I LIKE THE IDEA OF A WOMAN BEING THE HUNTER AS OPPOSED TO BEING HUNTED, WHICH IS HOW SHE OFTEN SEEMS TO BE PORTRAYED IN OUR CULTURE. GOING OUT AND HUNTING FOR WHAT SHE WANTS AND CREATING HER OWN STORIES, RATHER THAN BEING THIS PASSIVE PRODUCT OF A MAN’S DREAMS”

“I think people think that I’m quiet in my everyday life and loud when in my work”, whispers Anna Calvi. But if this is an injurious misconception, then the 37-year-old singer-songwriter isn’t doing much to counter it. Demurely sipping a smoothie in a North London cafe, she seems ill at ease and gives every impression she finds the interview process excruciating. Frequently, she puts her hand in front of her mouth and speaks so quietly you can barely make out what she’s trying to say. And yet Calvi’s a performer blessed with a voice of such fearsome power it could flatten passers by at 10 paces; and on the evidence of her third album, Hunter, she’s clearly a bold artist with much to say about the state of the world and her own identity.

It’s been a few years since Calvi’s star has passed this way. Her self-titled debut album was released in 2011, the follow-up One Breath arriving two years later. But that halfdecade gap hasn’t signalled a loss of artistic confidence – far from it. “I just wanted to wait until I had the right material and just take my time”, she explains. “The songs took a while to emerge and I didn’t really want to release anything until I was ready, until I could I really stand behind it.”

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