Between snorting fragments of the Berlin Wall and confrontations with “blind psychics turned online assassins,” wonder woman Annie Clark – aka St. Vincent – never ceases to disappoint. Continuing her journey into the realm of eccentricity in her upcoming self-titled album, Clark uses the album as a sort of electric playground full of surreal imagery and wild hallucination.
The many seemingly chaotic dynamic shifts within the album combine to create a musical masterpiece rooted, or uprooted if you please, in dreamy vocal runs backed by heavy synth and the distorted guitar solos for which she is known. Building from four previous albums and a head-turning collaboration with David Byrne of the Talking Heads, Clark has developed a one of a kind sound that keeps both fans and critics bewildered as to what may come next.
As she states in interviews with magazines such as Rolling Stone, many of the songs on the album such as “Rattlesnake” and “Huey Newton” were inspired by Ambien trips and deep subconscious undertones found on the edge of dreams. These muses are seen throughout the album, where the airy qualities of songs such as “Prince Johnny” project beautiful lyrical melodies that hint at dark and disturbing subject matter. In the single “Birth in Reverse,” Clark sings, “Like a birth in reverse, what I saw through the blinds / You could say that I’m sane in phenomenal lies,” and plays off of heavy guitar and aggressive beats to punch out a message of awakening and pose questions to reality. Transitions from these heavier songs to beautiful ballads such as “I Prefer Your Love” and “Seven Crossed Fingers” counter the in-your-face drops and twists at other points in the album but continue to uphold the subconscious and spontaneous feel of this master work.
Annie Clark is always pulling something new and fabulous out of thin air, and she proves that again with St. Vincent’s St. Vincent. Be on the lookout for this exceptional record when it drops on February 25. Pre-order it on iTunes, and sample the full record over at The Guardian now.
Article by Conner Smith