Just days after the climactic finale of Peak Blinders season six, Anna Calvi – who helped furnish the show with its phenomenal score – has revealed details of her Tommy EP, featuring two songs inspired by the show’s lead character Tommy Shelby (Cillian Murphy), as well as covers of songs by Bob Dylan and Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds.
We’ve been offered a taste of what to expect with the new single ‘Aint No Grave’, which was first written for season five and “evolved further” for season six. Opening up about the new track in a recent interview, Calvi said: “I just liked the idea of Tommy having his own song to sum him up. It’s a combination of bravado to the point of madness – where he thinks that he’s literally God – but at the same time there’s a feeling that this thing is going to catch up with him. He can’t keep surfing this wave of somehow escaping death.”
Calvi added: “There’s also a childlike hope in him that one day he’ll put his gun down and be a better person. I wanted to try and get all of those ideas into this song – both musically and lyrically.” The musician went on to explain that ‘Aint No Grave’ could be considered a sequel to ‘You’re Not God’, which was an attempt to write something that could be described as a ‘theme for Tommy: “It’s more of a heightened sense of destiny coming towards him, she said. “‘You’re Not God’ was a bit cheekier, but this one’s like, ‘Shit’s gonna go down’. That’s just what this season feels like.”
According to Calvi, many of the songs featured on the upcoming EP came from “writing songs specifically for Tommy, as if these were the songs that were going around in his head.” Sharing further about the track ‘Burning Down’. Calvi said: “I wrote a quieter, gentler song that still somehow sums him up. Although he’s obviously very much about action, I think the most interesting moments are when we just watch him think in his stillness. I wanted almost a B-side to ‘Ain’t No Grave’ that was about that.”
The forthcoming EP also features a pair of covers: a rendition of the classic Peaky Blinders theme ‘Red Right Hand’ by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds and ‘All The Tired Horses by Bob Dylan. Both versions were recorded specifically for the series but weren’t included in any episodes.
Expanding on the motivation behind this EP, Calvi said: “I liked the idea of having them on this EP as a way of saying goodbye to this character who has basically taken over my life for the last few years.” Those years have certainly been eventful; Calvi became a mother for the first time while composing the score. “It’s funny because when I was recording the soundtrack I was pregnant, so the first music that my child ever heard was Peaky music,” she said. “That’s quite a cool way to begin your life!”