No one's beating any girl
I’ve known about Anna Calvi ever since her debut album, the aptly named 2011… Anna Calvi. At the time, I was the lead singer of a (very amateur) rock band: that didn’t last very long, just enough to discover this lady with my band mates, try my hand at singing a tune or two of hers, realize it was hard, and split up.
But I didn’t stop listing to Calvi. Her voice is truly remarkable — just remember early songs like “Desire”, to this day one of the better tracks ever performed by a female vocalist, or any vocalist for that matter. Add to that her astounding guitar playing, somewhat reminiscent of the late great Jeff Buckley, and you get a bit of a phenomenon: a tiny, stilettoed powerhouse rocking the guitar as if it was a comb or a toothbrush. I saw her live early on too, which only cemented my love for the woman: in her (all-female) band, there was girl playing some sort of barrel organ-like instrument I’d never seen before. These sorts of experiences can go two ways: either really well, or tragically bad. Luckily, it was the former.
Then Calvi came back with a very strong sophomore in 2015, slowly building a noteworthy career as an important artist and performer. Then 2018, and her third album, Hunter. And more of the same, only better: somehow, she’s still perfected mastery of her own voice, delivering the truly beautiful “Don't Beat the Girl out of My Boy” as proof.
This song is remarkable enough to stand out in any sort of noisy environment, on the sheer strength of Calvi’s vocals as the piece progresses, giving a truly chilling ending to an otherwise perfectly produced track. Through the course of the track, the listener is reminded of classic creations like Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably numb” in the sheer theatricality and intensity of the work.
And, when you start quoting Pink Floyd, you know you did something right. In other words, just check it out. Now.