New Release: Anna Calvi – Hunter / Don’t Beat The Girl Out Of My Boy

Credit: Maisie Cousins

Hunter, the third full-length record from double Mercury Music Prize-nominated Anna Calvi, will be released on 31st August

Produced by Nick Launay (Nick Cave, Grinderman) in London with some further production in LA, the album was recorded with Anna’s band – Mally Harpaz on various instruments and Alex Thomas on drums – with the addition of Adrian Utley from Portishead on keys and Martyn Casey from The Bad Seeds on bass. It has a new rawness, a primal energy into which Calvi pushes the limits of her guitar and voice beyond anything she’s recorded before

The first new music since 2014’s collaborative release with David Byrne, Strange Weather EP, her self-titled debut album and the 2013 follow-up One Breath, Hunter is a visceral album exploring sexuality and breaking the laws of gender conformity. A queer and a feminist record, it is galvanising in its hunt for freedom. It was important to Calvi that it was as vulnerable as it is strong; as beautiful as it is harsh; as much about the hunted as it is about the hunter. But she’s careful not to characterise any of these traits as “masculine” or “feminine” – the whole point is that one person, of any gender, can be both. The power is in the contrast itself; in the way she oscillates between extremes, sounding freer than ever before. She wanted to express herself while being “free from the story that either gender is given, free from worrying how people would judge me on what I want to do with my body and myself. For me, that’s quite a utopian vision”

In conjunction with today’s announcement, Calvi has shared a video for the album’s first single, Don’t Beat The Girl Out Of My Boy. A battle cry with a rousing chorus, the song was partly written while thinking about how young children are when they’re conditioned to follow gender roles – in particular, the “heartbreaking” process through which small boys are taught not to cry or show emotions. Speaking about the track, Anna said the following: “It’s a song about the defiance of happiness. It’s about being free to identify yourself in whichever way you please, without any restraints from society”

Directed by rising star and recent Kendrick Lamar collaborator, William Kennedy, and choreographed by Aaron Sillis (FKA Twigs), the video is available to watch below…

Anna Calvi said the following about Hunter: “I’m hunting for something – I want experiences, I want agency, I want sexual freedom, I want intimacy, I want to feel strong, I want to feel protected and I want to find something beautiful in all the mess. I want to go beyond gender. I don’t want to have to chose between the male and female in me. I’m fighting against feeling an outsider and trying to find a place that feels like home.

I believe that gender is a spectrum. I believe that if we were allowed to be somewhere in the middle, not pushed to the extremes of performed masculinity and femininity, we would all be more free. I want to explore how to be something other than just what I’ve been assigned to be. I want to explore a more subversive sexuality, which goes further than what is expected of a woman in our patriarchal heteronormative society. I want to repeat the words “girl boy, woman man”, over and over, to find the limits of these words, against vastness of human experience.

I believe in the female protagonist, who isn’t simply responding to a man’s story. I go out into the world and see it as mine – I want something from it, rather than just being a passive product of it. I’m hungry for experiences. Sometimes things seem clear, and other times I feel lost. I feel strong and yet vulnerable; I wear my body and my art as an armour, but I also know that to be true to myself is to be open to being hurt.
The intent of this record is to be primal and beautiful, vulnerable and strong, to be the hunter and the hunted.”

Anna will perform her new live show on an extensive UK and European headline tour this Autumn and Winter, kicking off in Belfast on 27th September 2018. The tour will culminate in her biggest show to date at The Roundhouse in London on 7th February 2019. These dates will follow her first live shows in four years this month with three special performances in Berlin (Berghain), Paris (La Gaîté Lyrique) and London (Heaven)

Full live dates are as follows…

12 June 2018 – Berlin, Germany, Berghain
15 June 2018 – Paris, France, La Gaité Lyrique
19 June 2018 – London, UK, Heaven
27 Sep 2018 – Belfast, Northern Ireland, The Belfast Empire
28 Sep 2018 – Dublin 8, Ireland, The Tivoli Theatre
30 Sep 2018 – Glasgow, UK, St Luke’s
01 Oct 2018 – Manchester, UK, O2 Ritz
03 Oct 2018 – Newcastle, UK, The Boiler Shop
04 Oct 2018 – Birmingham, UK, Town Hall
05 Oct 2018 – Brighton, UK, All Saints Church
06 Oct 2018 – Bristol, UK, SWX Bristol
08 Oct 2018 – Lille, France, Le Splendid
09 Oct 2018 – La Rochelle, France, La Sirene
10 Oct 2018 – Nantes, France, Stereolux
13 Oct 2018 – Valencia, Spain, La Rambleta
14 Oct 2018 – Barcelona, Spain, Cruïlla de Tardor @ Razzmatazz 2
16 Oct 2018 – Madrid, Spain, Chango
17 Oct 2018 – Santiago, Spain, Sala Capitol
19 Oct 2018 – Porto, Portugal, Hard Club
20 Oct 2018 – Lisbon, Portugal, Capitolio
22 Oct 2018 – Lyon, France, Le Radiant
23 Oct 2018 – Strasbourg, France, La Laiterie
24 Oct 2018 – Utrecht, Netherlands Tivoli Vredenburg, De Helling
25 Oct 2018 – Brussels, Belgium, Botanique
27 Oct 2018 – Odense, Denmark, Posten
29 Oct 2018 – Oslo, Norway Parkteatret
30 Oct 2018 – Stockholm, Sweden, Nalen
01 Nov 2018 – Helsinki, Finland, Tavastia Club
03 Nov 2018 – Lund, Sweden, Mejeriet
04 Nov 2018 – Copenhagen, Denmark, Vega
05 Nov 2018 – Aarhus, Denmark, Voxhall
07 Nov 2018 – Warsaw, Poland, Niebo
08 Nov 2018 – Prague, Czech Republic, Lucerna
09 Nov 2018 – Leipzig, Germany, Conne Island
10 Nov 2018 – Weissenhäuser Strand, Germany, Rolling Stone Weekender
12 Nov 2018 – Bratislava, Slovakia, Nova Cvernovka
13 Nov 2018 – Budapest, Hungary, A38 Ship
15 Nov 2018 -Vienna, Austria, Simm City
16 Nov 2018 – Rust, Germany, Rolling Stone Park
17 Nov 2018 – Fribourg, Switzerland, Le Nouveau Monde
18 Nov 2018 – Zurich, Switzerland, Plaza Club Zurich
20 Nov 2018 – Ljubljana, Slovenia, Kino Siska
16 Jan 2019 – Munich, Germany, Freiheiz
18 Jan 2019 – Berlin, Germany, Astra Kulturhaus
19 Jan 2019 – Hamburg, Germany, Kampnagel
22 Jan 2019 – Cologne, Germany, Gloria Theatre
23 Jan 2019 – Amsterdam, Netherlands, Melkweg
25 Jan 2019 – Nancy, France, L’Autre Canal
26 Jan 2019 – Nimes, France, Paloma
27 Jan 2019 – Toulouse, France, Le Bikini
29 Jan 2019 – Bordeaux, France, Le Rocher de Palmer
31 Jan 2019 – Reims, France, La Cartonnerie
07 Feb 2019 – London, UK, The Roundhouse