Album Review: Anna Calvi – Hunted

I must start this with – do not trust or go near anyone who does not like Anna Calvi. Now that’s out the way, I am absolutely honored to write about her re-working of her phenomenal record, Hunter which has been re-named Hunted for this release. If you’re like me and fell more in love with Anna on her Hunter record then you are in for a treat. The fact that we have Anna and Joe Talbot together on a song is sheer heaven; what on earth did we do to deserve this?!

‘Swimming Pool’ features vocals by Julia Holter. I don’t know much, if anything about Julia but her vocals combined with Anna on ‘Swimming Pool’ give it this more intense euphoric feel than the Hunter version. It will give you goosebumps. The seven songs that have been created like this for Hunted are just divine, and they show us just exactly why and how Anna Calvi is a genius. She has this power in her voice that makes you just listen. You listen so carefully and intensely, and the way she has distorted the vocals on Hunter shows you just how utterly fearless she is; she has this way of making you forget how the Hunter record sounded. Hunted sounds like a brand new record, and I love that you have no idea what is coming next.

There is so much to adore about this record, and for me it has to be Joe Talbot on ‘Wish’. Anyone who knows me knows how much I love IDLES and Anna Calvi so for this to happen is just incredible. I wish that I had words good enough to get across just how wonderful this is but all I can hope for is that IDLES and Anna work together again, and again. This NEEDS to be a single, and there needs to be a video to this. I can see it now – a gritty and intense video, filmed in black and white. Joe prowling like a panther, Anna holding her guitar like a weapon. It’d be so beautiful and so brutal.

Anna’s moments on her own on the likes of ‘Indies or Paradise’ are nothing short of exceptional, and I love how this version of this song sounds like a live recording. It is so exposed and stripped back in such a beautiful way. They say you cannot improve on perfection, and that can be true at times but what Anna has done here is go beyond improving. She’s given us a different take on the record. Hearing her voice with Courtney Barnett and Charlotte Gainsbourg is something I never thought I’d need let alone hear, but here we are and we truly aren’t deserving of this! I love how utterly fearless Anna is, and that she’s worked with people on Hunted who are equally fearless.

If you’ve never listened to Anna Calvi before, or if you didn’t give Hunter the attention it deserved then please dedicate some time to listen to Hunted when it comes out next month. Soak up these songs; let Charlotte Gainsbourg’s vocals on ‘Eden’ break your heart and have you sobbing like a baby. Just let yourself feel every emotion possible when listening to Hunted, and cling onto them. When it ends, you can loosen your grip slightly and gently hit repeat and start the whole record again.

Hunted has this almost religious feel to the songs; you get this cathedral like echo in the vocals at times, and it makes it sound so big and so wonderful. It is an absolute joy to listen to, and I honestly don’t think you’ll be able to listen to Hunted in the same way once you’ve let Hunter take over your heart, soul, mind and ears.

Review by Olivia Cellamare:

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