From the album 'Confessions of a Romance Novelist'
Written by Catherine Anne Davies
Produced by Paul Draper & Catherine Anne Davies
Debut album released January 8th 2016 (Digital) January 15th 2016 (Physical)
"D?avies is making music like nobody else at the moment."
"W?ales's (much more explicitly feminist) answer to Lana Del Rey.?"
Ann Powers, NPR
Revenge-pop? The prog Karen Carpenter? Barbra Streisand on acid? Bat For Lashes on a book-binge? Whatever way you choose to describe ‘Confessions of A Romance Novelist’, the debut album by The Anchoress, one thing’s for sure: it packs a punch. Did I say “punch”? On tracks like ‘P.S. Fuck You’ it’s more of a kick. In the balls. Of an ex. who most definitely sounds like they deserved it…
Multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, PhD and producer Catherine Anne Davies (aka The Anchoress) sums up the album’s overall concept as "deconstructing normative ideas of love and romance", with each song sung by a different character – “what you might call a musical ghost writing of sorts”. You can hear this distilled in the Prince-inspired feminist manifesto ‘One For Sorrow’ that questions the concept of marriage. There’s a different take on obsessional love in the album’s title track, where the album’s narrator ironically references her “bedroom shrine to Margaret Thatcher”. Meanwhile, 'You And Only You' - an anthemic ode to being better off alone - features the distinctive operatic indie-wail of Mansun's Paul Draper, who co-produced the album with Catherine.
Draper helped to capture the collection of songs on which Catherine 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 of the songs. Yet, recording was interrupted by a series of events that threatened to derail the project completely, including Catherine injuring her hand so badly during a 48-hour recording session that she was told she might not play again and had to wear a metal cast for 6 months. She says: “This 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 album 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 and Line of Best Fit.
The Anchoress is currently on tour with Simple Minds, co-writing Paul Draper's debut solo album, and has begun working on her second album with Bernard Butler.
“Deft, engrossing lyrical work with some beautifully dark arrangements… an enthralling return”
"A strutting howl of a vocal and grit-edged guitar… a sprawl of dark southern gothic"