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Revenge-pop? The Prog Karen Carpenter? Barbra Streisand on acid? Bat For Lashes on an obscure book-binge?
Whichever way you choose to describe Confessions Of A Romance Novelist - the debut release by The Anchoress (co-produced by Mansun's visionary frontman Paul Draper) - one thing's for certain, the album is something truly different.
Multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, PhD and producer Catherine Anne Davies (aka The Anchoress) sums up her album's overall concept as, "Deconstructing normative ideas of love and romance. With each song sung by a different character, it's what you might call a musical ghost writing of sorts."
Co-producer and collaborator Draper has helped Davies capture a collection of songs on which she has played a variety of instruments, including piano, guitar, flute, omnichord, mellotron, wurlitzer, glockenspiel, and celeste (as well as multi-tracking up to 25 vocal harmonies on some songs).
The creation Confessions Of A Romance Novelist was not without its setbacks and was interrupted by a series of events that threatened to derail the project completely. Catherine says, "This album has been made on a wing and a prayer, lots of favours, one car crash, one death, one broken hand, and a lot of patience on so many parts. Stir in 3 jobs, 4 studios, 2 arrests, 3 pianos, 40 songs and 1 very patient engineer - and you get some way to understanding what a long road it has been."
The incomparable Confessions Of A Romance Novelist follows two sold-out singles, which were playlisted on both BBC 6Music and Xfm, and received plaudits across the globe, from America's NPR, to Les Inrockuptibles in France, the NME, and influential websites like The Quietus.
"Deft, engrossing lyrical work with some beautifully dark arrangement.... enthralling" - Clash
"A strutting howl of a vocal and grit-edged guitar.... a sprawl of dark southern gothic" - The Quietus
"Davies is making music like nobody else at the moment." - NME
"Wales's (more explicitly feminist) answer to Lana Del Rey." - Ann Powers, NPR
1. Long Year [3:51]
2. What Goes Around [4:17]
3. Doesn't Kill You [4:39]
4. You And Only You feat. Paul Draper [4:08]
5. One For Sorrow [3:24]
6. P.S. Fuck You [3:18]
7. Popular [3:56]
8. Bury Me [3:43]
9. Intermission (Notes To The Editor) [2:08]
10. Waiting To Breathe [3:02]
11. Chip On Your Shoulder [2:58]
12. Confessions Of A Romance Novelist [6:26]
13. Rivers Of Ice [3:43]