Catherine Anne Davies, also known as The Anchoress, currently teaches on our BA & MA Songwriting and MA Creative Music Production programmes.

From her early roots as a classically-trained flautist to her current obsession with vintage synthesizers, multi-instrumentalist and Music Producers Guild member Catherine Anne Davies has spent the last six years developing her writing and engineering skills to become one of the most interesting up-and-coming songwriters and producers in the UK, winning the PRS Writer/Producer award in 2019.

Her debut album as The Anchoress, “Confessions of A Romance Novelist”, 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 the Welsh Music Prize. 

Her critically-lauded Top 40 second The Art of Losing album was released in March 2021, successfully transforming wall-to-wall critical plaudits (including The Sunday Times Album of the Week and Guardian Albums of the Month) into a Top 40 position in the album charts, as well as grabbing the #1 spot on iTunes and coverage everywhere from the Independent to the Financial Times, to a spot on Made in Chelsea, and the BBC 6 Music Playlists. 

The Art of Losing was created in the aftermath of several years of huge personal loss, after the untimely death of her father, undergoing treatment for cervical cancer, and navigating baby loss, the record follows Dylan Thomas’ instruction to "rage against the dying of the light" - and there is nothing "gentle" about its enquiry. The album tackles both death and trauma with a defiant optimism, firmly concerned with how to find purpose in the midst of grief: "Was there some purpose to losing my mind?", she asks on the Depeche Mode inspired title track.

In 2018 she appeared on two tracks and duetted on "Dylan & Caitlin' from the No.2 album by the Manic Street Preachers “Resistance is Futile”, subsequently appearing as a special guest at the Manics arena shows, and being personally invited by Robert Smith (The Cure) to perform at his Meltdown Festival. She can often be seen performing on stage with the band.

Alongside writing and producing, over the past few years Catherine also brought a new generation of ears to legendary Scottish rock band Simple Minds. She joined the line-up in 2014, bringing a fresh sound and look to the legendary Scottish band, appearing on the Big Music (2015) and Walk Between Worlds (2019) albums as well as touring on keyboards, guitar, and additional vocals, subsequently supporting the band on their 2017 acoustic tour.

She has co-hosted a 3-hour BBC 6Music Beatles special on the White Album alongside Martin Freeman and Jon Simm and now hosts the arts and culture podcast The Art of Losing. Catherine has co-written with and worked alongside a variety of prominent industry names including Ed Harcourt (Paloma Faith & James Bay), Liam Howe (Jessie Ware, Marina) and Paul Statham (Kylie Minogue, Dido), as well her co-writing, engineering and production on 5 tracks on the Top 20 UK album ‘Spooky Action’ by Paul Draper.

While completing her PhD, Catherine was appointed ‘Emerging Artist in Residence’ at the Southbank Centre in London. During this 18 month-long tenure she collaborated on a new song cycle with Nitin Sawhney, as well as working with the London Philharmonic on new collaborative work. 

As a member of the Dark Flowers supergroup (alongside Jim Kerr from Simple Minds, Pete Murphy from Bauhaus, Kate Havenevik, Gabriella Cilmi, and Shelley Poole from Alisha’s Attic), Catherine co-wrote 6 tracks and appears as a featured artist on both of the collective’s albums. She has also co-written with artists outside of the alternative rock genre, including MOBO-nominated singer-songwriter/cellist Ayanna Witter-Johnson and British rapper Riz MC.

Her collaborative album with Bernard Butler (Suede, Duffy) was released in September 2020 via Needle Mythology to widespread critical acclaim.

She is currently a patron for the FAC (Featured Artists Coalition) and Music Venues Trust, as well as sitting on the UK Music Diversity Committee. 

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Write songs that last for generations

A great song can become truly timeless, remembered for generations as part of the world’s cultural legacy. Whether you want to craft a killer melody or pen poetic lyrics, our tutors will teach you everything you want to know, including all the production, performance, professional and entrepreneurial skills needed to ensure that your unique creations get the recognition they deserve. You’ll also benefit from A&R-style critique sessions, collaborative opportunities, access to fully equipped live rooms, recording studios and tech suites, and a community of inspiring contacts and friends.

To catapult your songwriting and music career to a whole new level, email our friendly Admissions Team at or give them a call on 020 7328 0222.

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