St. Vincent is probably one of my favourite musicians of the last 10 years and for good reason. I stumbled upon her album “Actress” from a music blog I used to read back in the day and have been hooked pretty much ever since thanks to her quirky music and poetic lyrics. Apart from her own credible back catalogue, she’s also made a hugely listenable album when she collaborated with the great David Byrne (Here Lies Love) and was part of Beck’s Record Club for their cover of INXS’ “Kick“. Her last solo album was “Strange Mercy” in 2011 and was one of her finest albums yet and started a steady move to a more synth-driven funky sound.
Yesterday, it was finally announced that she would be releasing her fourth album on 24 February 2014 and that the album was entitled (imaginatively) St. Vincent. Adding fuel to a fire on intrigued caused by this news, Annie Clarke described the album as “…a party record you could play at a funeral.”. Such a sound does come across on the track made available from her website ‘Birth In Reverse’ which is a frantic and enjoyable song musically. It features the standard Annie Clarke distorted guitar and lyrics that sort of remind me of the unhappy domestic lifestyle portrayed in her song “Cruel”.
Oh, what an ordinary day
Take out the garbage, masturbate
I’m still holding for the laugh
The dogs will bark so let them bark
The birds will cry, I let them cry
Here’s my report from the edge
Perhaps more exciting than the news of the new album or even the new song was the announcement of a decent handful of European dates early next year. I saw her on the Strange Mercy tour and it kind of blew my mind how good the touring band were and how amazing Clarke was as a performer. Her guitar playing is something else and her vocals were chilling, especially on the encore version of “The Party” that broke just about everyone’s hearts. To this day it’s probably one of the best gigs I’ve ever gone to and will take some beating. With a date announced for Sheppard’s Bush on 20 February 2014, I’m really anxious to see them again to hear the newer material performed before the album drops.
St Vincent’s new song “Birth In Reverse” can be found below, as can the kinda funny/kinda heartbreaking video for “Cruel” which features a blindfolded guitar solo and failed domestication.