Anna Calvi, Cuckoo Chaos | Schubas | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Anna Calvi, Cuckoo Chaos

When: Sat., May 28, 10 p.m. 2011

British singer Anna Calvi only began performing in public about five years ago (she's 28 now), after playing violin and guitar as a child and eventually earning a degree in orchestrating and arranging. It's clear from her music, though, that she spent several of those early years cultivating her emotion-­rich approach. On her self-titled debut on Domino, her powerful, crystalline voice summons the sound of dramatic wailers like Siouxsie Sioux and Polly Jean Harvey (her album was coproduced by Rob Ellis, who produced Harvey's first LP and has been one of her regular contributing musicians). But Calvi's twangy, reverb-drenched guitar and luminous vocal melodies make it apparent that she's also absorbed ideas about heart-on-sleeve affect from everything from flamenco to chanson, not to mention early Scott Walker—she favors an old-school, highly theatrical approach brimming with opulent pathos. I don't think her songwriting matches her thespian flair just yet, but she's off to an excellent start. —Peter Margasak

Price: $12

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