Welsh multi-instrumentalist and producer Catherine Anne Davies works under the moniker The Anchoress.
Her debut album, ‘Confessions of A Romance Novelist’ (written and co-produced by Davies) was released in 2016 on Kscope to widespread critical acclaim and 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.
MOJO described Davies as being in possession of "a devastatingly powerful voice". The Observer called it "a blackly witty break up album...compelling", while PROG magazine described the record as "Kate Bush’s Hounds Of Love updated for the 21st century". On the album, Catherine plays a variety of instruments, including piano, guitar, flute, omnichord, mellotron, wurlitzer, glockenspiel, and celeste, as well as sampling church bells, and an orchestra of typewriters, with the genre-hopping, expansive production draws on influences as far and wide as Prince, Roxy Music, The Carpenters, and David Bowie.
Alongside her music career, Catherine holds a PhD in English Literature from University College London (specializing in poetics). While completing her PhD, Catherine was appointed ‘Emerging Artist in Residence’ at the Southbank Centre in London. During this 18 month tenure she collaborated on a new song cycle with Nitin Sawhney as well as working with the London Philharmonic.
As a co-writer, she has worked alongside a variety of well-established names including Ed Harcourt (Paloma Faith, James Bay) Liam Howe (Marina & the Diamonds) and Paul Statham (Kylie, Dido). Her most recent co-writing success took the form of a substantial 5 song contribution to the Top 20 album ‘Spooky Action’ by Paul Draper (Mansun).
In 2015, Catherine joined the line-up of legendary Scottish rock band Simple Minds, where she plays keyboards, guitar, and additional vocals.
Critical praise for The Anchoress:
"... a devastatingly powerful voice." MOJO
"One of 2016's most affecting records... a collection of songs that sets a high
bar for intense, soul-tearing pop music. 9/10." THE LINE OF BEST FIT
"...Fascinating." SUNDAY TIMES
"...a blackly witty breakup album.." THE OBSERVER
"...Karen Carpenter singing John Grant." UNCUT
"...Hounds Of Love, updated for the 21st century." PROG