If I wanted to pick a timely 3:51 track, I could post Dengue Fever’s “2012 (Bury Our Heads).” If I wanted to be really timely today, I could go with Arcade Fire’s “Month of May.” Those are both fine, strong tracks, but today’s song came down to a choice of an overlooked song from one year ago vs. an overlooked song from 20 years ago. Since I’m passing over a pair of songs that are appropriate because of the month and year, I figure I should at least try and be a little timely, so Shakespeare’s Sister is only going to get an honorary shout-out, but do check out the video for “Stay”, which is pretty awesome in its own “I think she’s drunk” kind of way.
Anna Calvi’s debut album was released last year to high acclaim over in the UK, getting excellent reviews in the NME and a Mercury Prize nomination. Her success overseas didn’t seem to translate well to the US market, at least based on what I remember seeing in all of the year-end wrapups. That’s unfortunate, because “Desire” was one of my top ten or fifteen tracks of the year. It combines a big, strong vocal presence with the basic, straightforward songwriting that was missing from Florence + the Machine’s 2011 release and made that album a disappointment. In other words, it’s the kind of thing that Florence needs to get back to doing in order to replicate the success of Lungs. Given the high regard in which I hold that album, that’s pretty good company for Anna Calvi to be keeping, even if only for one song.