This is for me one of the most promising multi-instrumentalist and vocalist where the combinations between Art Rock, Indie Pop, and Alternative Rock are in one. Here name is Catherine Anne Davies, simply known as The Anchoress. Her debut album entitled, Confessions of a Romance Novelist released back in January of this year on the Kscope label, is one of my favorite albums this year. With help from co-producer Paul Draper of Mansun, it delivers, it catches, and it reaches, and touches you.
With receiving word of mouth from MOJO, Prog Magazine, The Quietus, and NPR, followed by winning this year’s Limelight award for the Progressive Music awards, she is definitely getting a lot of recognition and in my opinion, she is talented, emotional, and touching. I knew right from the beginning hearing some of the sample tracks including watching a music video with her duet with Paul Draper on the ‘80s ominous synth-art rocking delivery of You and Only You on (no pun-intended) YouTube, I knew I had to buy this album.
And I did. It’s these stories that are song written and it’s all in Catherine’s brain and she’s good at brainstorming through her lyrical boundaries. The homage to the Funk-Rock groove styles of early Stevie Wonder from the golden-era of the 1970s a-la Motown style with a team up between him and Jeff Lynne to create a soulful pop ascending deal with the occupation on not making it towards the big time with the Chip On Your Shoulder.
The up-tempo beats on dealing with while being stabbed in the back, revenge can come at you with a heavy price as a dish served cold thanks to some amazing catchy melodies that Catherine does on What Goes Around and the psychedelic wonders of reminiscing of the Beatles thrown in of the damage they caused towards of an abusive relationship with Doesn’t Kill You. The Anchoress digs deeper into risky and heavy subjects in her lyrics and she nails it.
On the Tim Burton-sque lullaby turned ‘60s punching percussion rhythm, punching guitar rhythms, organ, clapping sections, and vocalizations deals that once you get married, you find out that you are living in one big gigantic lie that you’ve been fooled the entire time with One For Sorrow and leaving the loved one who finds out is nothing but letting their loved ones down with intensity on P.S. Fuck You.
Again, Catherine digs, digs, and digs deeper into the roots of these situations. She can hit those notes in her voice that is right in front of your face including the last moment of life as to say farewell to your only child who sang to you and knowing there’s no turning back of the struggle of moving on and ominous chord progressions on the piano for Bury Me.
All in all, Confessions of a Romance Novelist is one of the most powerful, emotional and heartbreaking albums I’ve listened to. I can quite imagine this as a film score that Catherine wrote along with Paul Draper to witness what is happening behind the novelist eyes on what she sees. I can’t wait to hear and see what Catherine Anne Davies will think of next.