Calvi — whom Brain Eno called “the biggest thing since Patti Smith”— is already massive in her native U.K., where her spring shows sold out in a heartbeat. On the strength of her just-out debut self-titled album, and what’s repeatedly described as “mesmerizing” a live show, she’s hoping to bring U.S. audiences to their knees.
The half-Brit, half-Italian (Britalian?) artist’s material is rife with clear musical touchpoints: She calls to mind PJ Harvey, what with the vocal timbre and emotionally bleedy lyrics (no surprise that Rob Ellis, Harvey's drummer, is the disc’s co-producer). The operatic bombast is pure Florence and the Machine but also a little Edith Piaf (whose tune “Jezebel” has become a Calvi-cover trademark, though it’s not on the disc).
And the darkness recalls Nick Cave, whose outfit Grinderman Calvi joined on tour last fall). Brain Eno’s a fan; he’s called her “the biggest thing since Patti Smith.”
Anna Calvi with special guests Cuckoo Chaos and She Keeps Bees, Wednesday, May 25 at the Bowery Ballroom, 6 Delancey St.; (212) 533-2111. 8 p.m. doors, 9 p.m. show. Tickets $15 advance/$18 day of show, available here.