When indie music’s national treasure Johnno Casson describes an artist as “very nice and very talented too” there’s every chance they’re worth a listen. It’s not the first time Anna Pancaldi has received acclaim from those in the know. BBC Radio 2’s Dermot O’Leary described Anna’s music as “Really polished…She doesn’t need our help, we need her” and BBC 6 Music was quick to praise her “stunning vocals”. The Revue also rated her as an artist they’d be looking to see again when they reviewed her performance at the London Music Makers Festival.
Anna’s EP Sweet Charity was released earlier this year. It’s brief, with just three tracks, but it’s quality not quantity that counts, and quality shines through in each perfectly crafted song.
Before you read on, Anna is giving a FREE download of “Stay Right Here”, from the EP, to Angry Baby readers. If you’re not already subscribed to Angry Baby, just pop the email address that you’d like it delivered to here and it will be on its way to you straight away, together with a bumper collection of music that has been shared by Angry Baby. The music comes from outstanding artists that you may not have heard before. With a mix of rock, pop, folk…you name it…there’s bound to be something new that floats your musical boat, and all for free! What’s not to like about that?!
Opening track “Brother”, which is also released as a single, showcases Anna’s gloriously warm and emotional vocals against the lightest of piano. Reaching through the recording, the song’s intimate rendition places listeners up close and personal. Shut your eyes and you’re in the room with Anna, her keys and an audience, pin-drop quiet, absorbing every note. It’s cleverly written and arranged too, deserving its place on seven playlists including ‘New Music Friday UK’ on Spotify.
This finesse is, no doubt, a product of Anna’s dedication to her craft. She’s been writing since her early teens and picked up a music diploma too, before travelling the world, writing yet more music and gigging. That sort of experience can’t be short-cut and, blended with a talent for telling a story through song, delivers the kick of expressive art that inhabits this track.
Anna’s voice is built for contrast. “Keep On Keeping On” brings rock-Anna to the fore, all power ballad, with moments of light and shade to maintain atmosphere. Energy pulses over fascinating percussion, layers of harmonies, guitar, keys and…from time to time…no accompaniment at all. This is a song that demands a crowd to sway along.
Like the tiniest hint of country? Some peaceful strings to carry a melody? “Stay Right Here” is a song of desire, delivered with fearless passion and effortless vocal control. Anna soars over the arrangements, leaving not a shred of doubt that she lives and believes what she sings:
‘If I beg will you stay right here,
I’m begging you to stay right here,
Tell me why can’t you stay?’
Anna names Joni Mitchell, Jeff Buckley and Carol King among her influences, and there’s definitely a resonance in her rich, deep vocal style.
Three tracks whet the appetite for more, so it’s no surprise that Sweet Charity, like all Anna’s releases, charted in the Top Ten of the iTunes singer songwriter charts. She continues to perform live too. All three of her London headline shows sold out, and she’s toured Europe and the US too, playing live on CBS TV, which she describes as ‘a scary one’. Scary it may be, but that’s no mean feat for an independent artist.
Anna’s career doesn’t stop at releasing and performing music, she explains “I also featured in a Levi’s campaign which I soundtracked too, which was very exciting. We got flown to 4 countries in 5 days to do all sorts from paragliding – jet skiing!”. And if that’s not enough to keep most people busy, Anna also launched her own line of gin called ‘Joe’s Gin’ made by Mason’s, an elderflower infusion inspired by her brother who used to make them elderflower cordial as children. Mason’s gin is sold in the likes of posh shops Harvey Nichols and Selfridges.
Anna’s advice to anyone just starting out with their music is practical and could save them from problems in the future:
“To anyone starting out I would make sure you have spent as much time as you can just writing music before you start releasing, as once you get started you want to keep the ball rolling to keep momentum. Also properly educate yourself in how the business works, so to be informed and know how it all works. You’re an artist, but have to engage with the business and don’t want get taken for a ride!! Knowledge is power!”
Sweet Charity was released in March 2017. Get your copy here
Catch Anna at the UK’s Words and Music Festival on 10th October. Or if you can’t make it, follow her at:
And get your free download of music from Angry Baby now, including Anna Pancaldi’s “Stay Right Here” – just pop your email down below.