Strange Weather is the brand new EP from English singer-songwriter Anna Calvi. Consisting entirely of covers (five in total), it was recorded in New York with producer Thomas Bartlett and mastered at the legendary Abbey Road Studios in London. Famed for her unique guitar style, Calvi plays her instrument as if it were an orchestra, utilizing a circular picking technique to get her desired sound. It enables her to fuse a number of genres from rock, blues and lets her create cinematic moments throughout her playing. Along with her one-off strumming method, Calvi is a stunning vocalist. In every performance, she delivers natural power, subtlety and focuses on the intricate details.
The EP opens up with Papi Pacify. Its an intense, at times bluesy number and if you didn’t know it already, immediately introduces you to Calvi’s take on music. Even though these tunes aren’t necessarily penned by Calvi herself, she has put her stamp all over them. It’s a sparse arrangement, focusing on the dynamics and the little nuances that fill the airwaves. The bluesy climax of Im the Man Who Will Find You wouldn’t find itself too out of place on a Black Keys record, and this tune in particular showcases those guitar techniques mentioned earlier. It really is quite extraordinary when hearing it for the first time. Title track Strange Weather is a haunting, gothic take on the original and Calvi’s vocals remain sligtly restrained and intimate. Again, its sparse and at times almost mechanic sounding with those droning guitars wailing in the background, particularly as the song draws to a close.
The EP is an interesting listen. It utilizes all Anna Calvi has to offer, apart from those strong vocals. Throughout she keeps herself restrained, intimate and singing with a whisper. A brief moment of that stunning power would perhaps have lent itself well to this record, bringing a welcome change of dynamics to proceedings. Never the less, Strange Weather is an intense, full on listen. Not for the faint-hearted, but thoroughly rewarding if you give it some attention.