UK artist Anna Calvi has spoken to PSNEurope about the making of her “brutal” third album Hunter, which is nominated for tonight’s 2019 Mercury Prize.
Calvi is no stranger to the Mercury Prize, having seen all three of her albums to date nominated. Her ability to combine virtuosic guitar playing with show-stopping, operatic vocals has singled her out as one of the most unique talents to emerge from the UK in the past decade. And her latest outing, produced by long-time Nick Cave producer Nick Launay, is arguably her finest yet, with the sounds and themes explored in her previous records pushed further than ever before.
“I wanted it to be quite brutal sounding – for there to be moments that felt very strong and moments that felt vulnerable,” she told PSNEurope. “And in terms of the strength, I was listening a lot to [Public Image Ltd’s] Flowers Of Romance album. That’s one of the reasons I asked Nick Launay to produce it, because he produced that record and I thought the sounds on that record were amazing and groundbreaking. He was really excited about the idea of being playful in the studio with sonics. He wanted to make a record where there was a wide spectrum of colour for the sound.”
The process of making Hunter has also had a significant impact on Calvi’s live performances. “Because it’s a more raw, visceral record than anything I’d done before, I needed to make sure that those elements were even more evident on stage,” she explains. “It’s a very physical record. It’s a record of the body, so I didn’t feel that I could just stand still and perform. And the songs don’t want that either, they demand more. It has definitely helped me develop myself on stage. It’s not like I’m playing a character, it’s just a more extreme version of what I always was.”
You can read our full interview with Calvi in the October issue of PSNEurope, out next week.