St. Vincent (Loma Vista/ Republic)
Persistently resisting convention and accomplishing a swell of capricious albums, St. Vincent is undoubtedly a musical daredevil. Often flirting with ambiguity, Annie Clark’s flighty approach to album procreation is like observing a tentative toddler choosing which toy to play with next, recklessly grasping and tasting every building block in sight. This self-titled fifth album is another escapade veering from tradition into whimsical disarray.
Following her brass- lavished collaborative album with David Byrne in 2012, St. Vincent diverges from the trumpet- encrusted funk of Love This Giant into an impulsion of mechanical melodies. Digital Witness dominates the album, splurging a sauciness that erratically embraces Clark, lucidly flourishing what Byrne taught her of fearlessness. Brian Eno’s experimentation visibly seeps through decades, latching onto St. Vincent and reducing her attention span to the restlessness of a five-year-old. The album fluctuates between states of dense 80s pop and taut beats, seeing I Prefer Your Love execute a ghostly air of Madonna whilst Birth In Reverse seizes a climax of electronica- induced math-rock. St. Vincent ultimately immerses itself in early 2000s RnB, acquiring the volatility of Beyonce’s solo debut and the miscellany of Michael Jackson’s career finale. Aberrant comparisons aside, this album is above all a homage to David Byrne’s insightful tutoring, forcing a dauntless St. Vincent into grasping and tasting her greatest selection of building blocks yet.
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Words: Ayesha Linton-Whittle