We spent two wonderful days at Weissenhäuser Strand for Rolling Stone Weekender. The amazing Line-Up included The Flaming Lips, Father John Misty, Nada Surf and beside many more – Anna Calvi. After the release of her stunning album ‘Hunter’ she is now touring Europe.
We met Anna after her set for a quick chat to talk about her 5 favourite queer artists.
Anna: The first one would be Perfume Genius. I got into him on his ‘Too Bright’ record and I just thought it was a very honest, amazing record – the sound of it is very individual, and it sounds like he is coming from a very honest place in his lyrics. It’s proud, but not in a cheesy way. I guess the song I initially got drawn to was ‘Queen’ – it has this kind of fallen rheged beauty about it, you were once very beautiful and now you are lost.
The next one would be David Bowie, because he was the first singer that I got really obsessed with, when I was like 10 or 11. I had a book of photographs of him, and obviously the way he looks is very subversive and queer – but at a 10 year old I didn’t know what that meant. I was drawn to these images in which he was playing with the boundaries of masculinity and femininity. And I remember reading that he has come out as a gay man – and that was way before I’d even think about my sexuality, I was a kid – but I remember there was something about reading that and I was like ‘Wow!’. In every possible way he is a big influence for me.
My favourite Bowie song would be… ‘Alladin Sane’.
I don’t know how many people see this person as a queer artist – but I kind of do – Grace Jones. I love the way she plays with her masculinity. She feels boundless. She’s this force of nature. The record that really got me into her was ‘Nightclubbing’. And there is this line in this song ‘Walking in the rain’ that says ‘Feeling like a woman, looking like a man’ – and I found that it’s such a simple way to put something that I felt like I can relate to.
An easy one, but Christine and the Queens is a great artist. Her music doesn’t directly necessarily relate to me, but her aesthetic and the way she talks about things in her records represent what I believe in, and I think she’s very good at expressing herself. And I think it’s amazing that a pop artist is infecting the mainstream with these statements that people should be hearing, especially in France. I think it’s very important that she exists.
Another singer that I really like is King Princess – she’s from America and identifies as a lesbian. She makes pop music and her fans are really young queer kids. She just signed to Mark Ronson’s label – I think she is still to put out a record, but she released an EP. For me, she’s a really exciting new artist.
Father John Misty
Die Höchste Eisenbahn