Lovers Lane
Copernicus Center

Girls who play guitar

| May 25, 2011

The world, not just women, needs new guitar heroes. Anna Calvi probably doesn’t need that pressure dumped in her lap, but it’s her fault for being such a good player.

The English singer/guitarist’s self-titled debut begins disastrously. Her Telecaster spits out dirty blues licks over an atmospheric arrangement that, 20 years ago, would have been tailored to soul-searching solo movie scenes, like those in Ford Fairlane. “This album is on Domino Records?” A flare of blurred crescendo, and it starts to make sense.

Tasteful when flashing her teeth (more often than you might think), and creating a tone that offsets her occasionally detached voice, Calvi stakes out territory somewhere between My Brightest Diamond and Lykke Li. More traditional electric-guitar virtuosos tend to back their licks with either numbingly remedial chord changes or needlessly ponderous constructions, but with avant-pop filters she turns the style on its head. It’s also not a indie guitar album in the Built To Spill mold, where verses and choruses are obstacles to the solo. At no point does Calvi force her skill upon her songs, which gives you time to appreciate what she’s singing, too. (Saturday@Schubas with Cuckoo Chaos.)

— Steve Forstneger

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Category: Featured, Stage Buzz, Weekly

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  1. Rob Greco says:

    I am seeing more girls come thru the doors for guitar lessons, and rightly so. Music is not gender biased.
    Rob Greco
    Guitar Teacher Nottingham.