The Devil

Album: Anna Calvi (2011)

Songfacts®:

  • The English singer-songwriter Anna Calvi was exposed to many different genres of music by her melomaniac Italian father. She cites the classical composers Ravel and Debussy among her influences and aims to condense the grand ebb and flow of classical compositions into dark, romantic, atmospheric pop songs. She explained to the NME: "In classical music you've got accessible melodies but they're taken to extremes, whereas in pop it's in bite-sized form. I'm stretching it out and seeing if you can apply the tension and release of classical music into pop. On 'The Devil' there's this guitar part that's like the strings in a Hitchcock film. It gets more and more intense until there's the explosion, as if the whole orchestra has come in."
  • The NME asked Calvi if the warnings of the Big Man arriving in this song belie a sense of exultancy about the devil's presence? She replied: "Interesting you should say that. It ends on a major chord as the devil comes, and it's maybe telling you it's not a bad thing. The lyrics tell you one thing and the music tells you something else. But when I talk about the devil it's a metaphor for being out of control. And that can feel amazing. I think the biggest fears are internal, not what's out there in the world."

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