NPR Music

Support Public RadioLogin

Tiny Desk Concerts

Anna Calvi: Tiny Desk Concert

Download Audio

9 min 21 sec

January 26, 2012 The slow build that takes place in just three short songs performed at the NPR Music offices — from a guitar instrumental to the final primal cry of "Jezebel" — is nothing short of astonishing. Calvi plays three songs from her self-titled debut in this powerful performance at the NPR Music offices.

Anna Calvi is a brilliant guitar player, and if it stopped there, I'd still be captivated by her music. But Calvi's playing is only the underpinning of the superb songs she writes and sings — and that's saying nothing of her incredible voice.

Calvi's music has roots in the 1950s, but that's a bit misleading. Nostalgia isn't a driving force in her work; but it's more like the spare sound you might hear in the guitar twang of Duane Eddy. It's the passion of Elvis Presley or Edith Piaf that feeds this music. And yet Calvi, who is British and born in 1982, infuses her songs with something new.

The slow build that takes place in just three short songs performed at the NPR Music offices — from a guitar instrumental to the final primal cry of "Jezebel" — is nothing short of astonishing. It's as succinct a glimpse into the arc and soul of an artist as I've seen at a Tiny Desk performance.

Calvi's self-titled debut was nominated for the Mercury Prize last year, and I would have been glad to see it win. If you don't know anything about her, this spare but powerful performance provides a perfect introduction.

Set List:
  • "River To The Sea"
  • "Surrender"
  • "Jezebel"
Credits:

Producer and Editor: Bob Boilen; Videographer: Michael Katzif; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait; photo by Cristina Fletes/NPR

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

More Tiny Desk Concerts

More Tiny Desk Concerts
 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

Podcast + RSS Feeds

Podcast RSS

  • Tiny Desk Concerts
     
  • Live in Concert
     
 

Podcast + RSS Feeds

Podcast RSS

  • Music Videos
     
  • Tiny Desk Concerts