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Listen to The Anchoress' haunting version of Nirvana’s Pennyroyal Tea

The Anchoress posed image with wet hair against a grey wall
(Image credit: ISABELLA CHARLESWORTH )

Catherine Anne Davies, aka The Anchoress, has released her own version of Nirvana’s Pennyroyal Tea. The song originally appeared on the Seattle band's 1993 album In Utero and, according to late frontman Kurt Cobain, was written about someone who was "beyond depressed".

Davies wrote on social media: “In the wake of the overturning of Roe v Wade there was only one song that I was going to tackle this month.” The herb pennyroyal was used as far back as ancient Roman times to induce abortions.

“I have so much anger and sadness over what is happening in America right now as a women’s autonomy over her own body is put into question,” says the Welsh multi-instrumentalist and producer. “Whatever your thoughts on what is happening to reproductive rights, I hope you find some comfort in this contemplative version of a song that’s alway held a lot of power for me.”

The Anchoress is one of many artists who've spoken out against the overturning of Roe v Wade. She wrote about her own experiences of stillbirth and miscarriage on her second album, The Art Of Losing, which was voted Prog magazine writers' Album Of The Year in 2021. 

Stream Pennyroyal Tea below and buy it direct from The Anchoress’ Bandcamp.

cover art for The Anchoress' Pennyroyal Tea

(Image credit: The Anchoress)
Natasha Scharf
Natasha Scharf

Contributing to Prog since the very first issue, writer and broadcaster Natasha Scharf was the magazine’s News Editor before she took up her current role of Deputy Editor, and has interviewed some of the best-known acts in the progressive music world from ELP, Yes and Marillion to Nightwish, Dream Theater and TesseracT. Starting young, she set up her first music fanzine in the late 80s and became a regular contributor to local newspapers and magazines over the next decade. The 00s would see her running the dark music magazine, Meltdown, as well as contributing to Metal Hammer, Classic Rock, Terrorizer and Artrocker. Author of music subculture books The Art Of Gothic and Worldwide Gothic, she’s since written album sleeve notes for Cherry Red, and also co-wrote Tarja Turunen’s memoirs, Singing In My Blood. Beyond the written word, Natasha has spent several decades as a club DJ, spinning tunes at aftershow parties for Metallica, Motörhead and Nine Inch Nails. She’s currently the only member of the Prog team to have appeared on the magazine’s cover.