Anna Calvi’s upcoming third album, Hunter,sees the twice Mercury Prize-nominated artist more creatively galvanised and personally honest than ever before. It was written after Calvi ended an eight-year relationship and moved to France with her new partner, who encouraged her to overtly explore themes of pleasure, gender, and sexuality on the record. Its title track, the album’s latest single, is about exploring pleasure and the body in all possible ways, free from any shame.
“I wanted to write about intimate moments, when something playful, messy, and transcendent can happen,” Calvi tells Dazed. “I’m tired of seeing women depicted as being hunted by men. In this song, I am the hunter. I go out into the world and see it as mine. I’m not simply responding to a man’s story. The song is about finding a safe place where this is welcomed and supported.”
In the Matt Lambert-directed video for “Hunter”, the ideas Calvi explores on the album are brought out through its stars, River Wilson and River Disgrace. “I’ve always felt drawn to the rawness and intimacy of Matt’s work,” Calvi of working with Lambert. “I really loved the video he did for Evvol’s ‘RELEASE ME’. It’s such a beautiful account of queer women’s sexuality. For ‘Hunter’, Matt and I wanted to explore the relationship you have to your body as a queer person. It feels incredibly defiant to explore pleasure and the body from a queer perspective, when it’s so rare to see yourself represented in the mainstream.”
“I loved Matt’s idea of filming two separate people, who are just exploring themselves in the most intimate and playful way,” she continues. “I was so moved by their performance, it feels so honest, and true. In ‘Hunter’ I wanted simplicity, I wanted something quietly brave, and quietly defiant. I wanted true intimacy. And I really feel Matt’s video has captured that.”
Lambert adds: “The video for ‘Hunter’ follows an ongoing theme in my work that looks to humanise LGBTQ+ narratives through authentic portrayals of intimacy. After creating my first X-rated film last year, FLOWER, and its sister film, ‘RELEASE ME’, I’m to try and reverse the often overly-performative, disconnected and objectifying portrayals of queer sexuality in porn. This film is an honest celebration of self-love and that highlights the importance of intimacy and play as the beginnings of a queer human’s journey toward intimate comfort with others.”
Hunter is released via Domino on August 31. Watch the NSFW “Hunter” video below.