Tuned In: Anna Calvi Makes Her U.S. Television Debut On Letterman

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For the most part a Mercury Prize nomination serves either as another critical feather in the cap of a commercially successful artist like Adele, or else as an acknowledgment of a particularly British artist like Katy B, whose two-steppy pop is danceable and emotive, but stands practically no chance of crossing over into the US pop world.

Occasionally, though, the nomination is an opportunity?the tipping point in a wave of good press that gets US critics?and audiences?paying attention. Take Tinie Tempah, about whom we wrote just yesterday. Or take?Anna Calvi, who made her United States television debut last night on?The Late Show with David Letterman. Backed only by a drummer and an extremely enthusiastic harmonium player and percussionist (about whom Letterman quipped,?”This woman is quite busy. Have you noticed that?”), Calvi charmed the Late Show audience with a guitar-and-vocal performance influenced by, but hardly a cookie-cutter copy of, PJ Harvey. Whether Calvi can build an American audience remains to be seen, but this first shot across the bow was remarkably effective.

Elsewhere on late night…

Conan: Funeral Party, “NYC Moves to the Sound of LA”
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Vanessa Carlton, “Carousel”
Jimmy Kimmel Live!: Chris Young, “You”
Lopez Tonight: Austin Brown, “All I Need”
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon: They Might Be Giants, “Can’t Keep Johnny Down”

Anna Calvi ? ?Desire? 7/27 Letterman [The Audio Perv]