May 28, 2024


The Anchoress is the stage name of Welsh-born multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and author Catherine Anne Davies.
Davies was born in Glynneath, Wales but at 10 weeks old was taken to Australia with her parents before returning to the UK at the age of four, where she grew up in             
Aylesbury , Buckinghamshire, England .
Davies formed The Anchoress in 2013. Paul Draper  co-produced The Anchoress’s début album, Confessions of a Romance Novelist .
The album was named amongst the Guardian critics’ Albums of the Year, won HMV’s Welsh Album of the Year, Best Newcomer at the PROG awards, and a nomination for Welsh Music Prize.
Catherine Anne Davies (The Anchoress)…Speaking
ATHENS CALLING: Listening ‘’Confessions of a Romance Novelist ‘’  I have noticed that the first  song ΄΄Long Year” has a psychedelic style! The next song is completely different. The same happen with the others songs! Finally, in what genre of music is your album ?
CATHERINE ANNE DAVIES (THE ANCHORESS) : I don’t feel that the music that you make has to fit neatly into one genre or kind. I think that also reflects my own taste in music which is very broad, from classical to industrial metal. I wanted the album to explore a breadth of themes and moods and in order to do that the music also had to take in a broad sweep of styles. That was a conscious aesthetic decision.
ATHENS CALLING: ”Confessions of a Romance Novelist”  the title of your album. Why this title ?
CATHERINE ANNE DAVIES ( THE ANCHORESS) : The title came about after I wrote the song of the same name and it seemed to fit the collection of songs that was shaping up to be the album: a series of “confessions” (songs) that were both fictional and non fictional. I liked the metaphor as an overarching explanation for the album concept.
ATHENS CALLING: How much time did you need to prepare the album?
CATHERINE ANNE DAVIES (THE ANCHORESS) :The process of the recording of the album took place over a long period of time because I was, at the time, not making music full tome but also working on my PhD at university, writing a book and working. My father was also diagnosed with terminal cancer during the making of the album and I took a long time out to be with him.

ATHENS CALLING: Song number four ”You and Only You”, in cooperation with mister  Paul Draper.  Tell us please about this cooperation! 
CATHERINE ANNE DAVIES (THE ANCHORESS) : Paul co-produced the album with me and by the time I got to finishing this song it felt natural that he should sing on this track with me. The process of collaboration continued as we began writing for his solo album Spooky Action before my album had even been completed. I also the. co-wrote 6 songs for his solo album and spent 18 months recording that with him so our collaboration continued beyond Confessions and has been a two way street.

ATHENS CALLING: Which one of the 13 songs is your favorite?
CATHERINE ANNE DAVIES (THE ANCHORESS) :I don’t have a favourite but I am most pleased that Bury Me changed the least in the process from my original studio demo as it’s nice to ha e songs that have such a strong intent from the start that they make their character known from the off.
ATHENS CALLING: All songs of album are with amazing lyrics. With what occasion write your lyrics?
CATHERINE ANNE DAVIES (THE ANCHORESS) : Lyrics are very important to me as someone who studied literature at university. Some will be written in the moment of emotional intensity but most are reflections at a distance that I work over once the music has taken shape.
ATHENS CALLING: Now something about your writing work. In the year 2012 was published ”Whitman’s Queer Children” .What do you have to tell us about it?
CATHERINE ANNE DAVIES (THE ANCHORESS) :This book was a version of my PhD that I was also writing at the same time as the album. It was published by Bloomsbury and looks at the poetry of Hart Crane, John Ashley, Allen Ginsberg and Walt Whitman through the lens of American nationalism and queer theory.

ATHENS CALLING: Before we return to your music way (route) .Your opinion about Brexit ?
CATHERINE ANNE DAVIES (THE ANCHORESS) : I  voted to remain in the EU so I am disappointed with the current state of affairs. I don’t believe that this will provide the best future for our country.
ATHENS CALLING: Simple Minds it’s one of our favorites group. Tell us please about ”The Simple Minds Acoustic Live ”. I read from Uncut issue that you are a special guest?
CATHERINE ANNE DAVIES (THE ANCHORESS) :I supported Simple Minds on the UK leg of their acoustic tour. I got to play so many amazing venues such as the legendary London Palladium. It was a really special tour to be asked to perform on.

ATHENS CALLING: And now we would  like to know about  your future plans
CATHERINE ANNE DAVIES (THE ANCHORESS) :I hope to be able to play some European festivals in 2018 and 2019 once the next album is completed.
ATHENS CALLING: Thanks a lot for the interview and all the best in your musical journey! Many thanks with a big hug from Greece!


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