ANNA CALVI AND… GUY MADDIN?
Anna Calvi’s self-titled album, recently shortlisted for the U.K. Mercury Prize, has been a grower with me in the last few weeks. Now, an interview with Calvi in The Guardian has bumped it up even further. A lot of reviewers have referenced the cinematic quality of Calvi’s songs and, indeed, singles like “Blackout” make one think that she’d be a natural for the next James Bond soundtrack. So, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Calvi’s inspirations are a lot less obvious. Indeed, the only movie that has inspired one of her songs is one of the past decade’s best — Guy Maddin’s My Winnipeg.
Your music has a very cinematic feel. Do you think of it in a visual way?
Yes. I’ve always been drawn to the visual side of creativity. I’ve always painted – I nearly went to art school. It definitely affects the way that I write because I really see music as well as hear it and I always try to make sure that the music is telling a story as much as the lyrics are.
Have you drawn on specific films for inspiration?
There’s a film called My Winnipeg about a guy who really wants to leave a town but he can’t because everyone keeps falling asleep. It’s a really dreamlike film with surreal images of frozen horses in white snow. I had that in mind when I wrote “Suzanne and I”, but that’s the only time I’ve taken literal reference from a particular film.