The Anchoress performs an exclusive session

Watch a compelling session from The Anchoress

© Greg Barnes/

Catherine Anne Davies’ intense alter-ego performs two tracks exclusively for

Beyonce has her alter-ego Sasha Fierce and songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Catherine Anne Davies has hers: The Anchoress.

The inspiration behind Davies' own psuedonym is, perhaps, less straightforward. It's a reference to her habit of hiding away in the studio. "It came from a documentary I saw about the history of the religious hermit," she says. "It resonated with me and my studio experience – being locked up in a small, cramped room with little daylight for a prolonged period."

With all that time spent holed-up in one room, polishing and refining her songs, you might expect a certain level of intensity with The Anchoress's music – and her debut album of prog-pop Confessions Of A Romance Novelist, described as like Karen Carpenter singing John Grant, doesn't disappoint.

Co-produced with Paul Draper (once of UK indie-rockers Mansun), it's an album inspired by Kate Bush's The Dreaming and the maverick twists and turns made by Prince. It's a record that bears the influence of Davies' other old favourites too: David Bowie, PJ Harvey, Nick Cave, Manic Street Preachers and Björk

The Anchoress is currently working on a follow-up album, but the Wales-born, ballet-obsessed songwriter with a PhD in Queer Poetics left the studio to perform an exclusive Stripped Session for Red Bull Music.

Watch The Anchoress's exclusive performances of What Goes Around (above) and Doesn't Kill You (below).

The Anchoress is on Facebook.

The Anchoress's debut album, Confessions Of A Romance Novelist, is out now. Buy it here.

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