Strange Weatheris closer to an artistic revelry than a traditional EP release. English songwriter Anna Calvi’s latest work contains an elusive but rich sound palette that drifts to and fro, but for those who immerse themselves in it, it is a rewarding experience. The EP lacks the contrived flourishes of a record aiming for mass appeal.

The title track conjures an aura of mystery with a solitary guitar, but that is before guest David Byrne (Talking Heads) begins to sing ever so delicately. As he and Calvi perform, voices rising in unison, their lyrics read like poetry: “Cut in white lines / Black matter / I see them shining / Through your drunken eyes…” In the context of the EP, Byrne’s presence adds refreshing variety.

Each song becomes its own universe, with ‘Papi Pacify’ placing Calvi in a dark, smoky room before storming into the spotlight. ‘Ghost Rider’ is a manic chase, with discordant guitar licks and frantic vocals desperately spilling out.

The only fault of this EP is the lack of cohesion between the songs, which stand better alone. Otherwise, Strange Weather reaffirms Calvi as an artist on top and in control of her game.


Strange Weatheris out Friday July 11 though Domino / EMI.

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