St. Vincent’s fifth album out this week
The Grammy-winning singer and guitarist has “established herself as one of pop’s smartest, craftiest young artists,” noted the Los Angeles Times. Her latest and most ambitious album, “Masseduction”, will be released on Friday.
St. Vincent, the musical moniker of Annie Clark, began playing guitar at 12. NYLON Magazine, featuring her on the cover of their October edition, deemed her “a masterful guitarist, a performance artist unafraid of experimentation,” one who “rarely stays monogamous to any one genre or rhythm.”
“Masseduction” (pronounced as “mass seduction” on the title track) was co-produced by Jack Antonoff, known for his work with Taylor Swift and Lorde. Clark’s fifth album addresses themes of drugs, romance, and loneliness against “vivid arrangements that twist Top 40 pop conventions into weird new shapes,” the Los Angeles Times wrote. Variety described her as someone “who can combine classic rock riffs with the large-screen dynamics of electronic music, equal parts distinctive vocalist, guitar hero and one-person DJ.”
The album’s rollout has included a “fake news” conference on Facebook and videos scripted by actor-musician Carrie Brownstein. Clark has released two songs off of the album, “Los Ageless” and “New York” (the latter a piano ballad thought to have been inspired by the death of NYC icon/dweller David Bowie).
Her concert tour, entitled “Fear the Future” after a track on the record, kicked off on Saturday night. During the live show at Paramount Pictures Studios in Hollywood, part of Red Bull Music Academy’s month-long series of cultural events, Clark played the entire album from beginning to end on a large stage set up on the New York back lot. Clark wore a hot-pink strapless leotard and thigh-high boots; the staging included a series of curtains and video screens flashing clips of show business scenes and plastic surgery.
Clark’s set highlighted an overview of her career starting with “Marry Me” and “Now Now” (from her 2007 debut), followed by “Digital Witness”, “Rattlesnake” and “Birth in Reverse” (from her self-titled album in 2014). “Cruel” and “Cheerleader” (both from 2011’s “Strange Mercy”) received the biggest crowd reactions. She completed the set with all 13 new songs: opener “Hang on Me”, “Pills” with its vocal cameo from her ex-girlfriend model Cara Delevingne, and funky title track “Masseduction”.
If Clark is ascending in the music world, she will soon cross over into film. Lionsgate announced that she would be directing a female-led adaptation of “The Picture of Dorian Gray”, collaborating with “Elle” screenwriter David Birke and casting the roles. Clark made her directorial debut earlier this year with a short called “The Birthday Party”. Of this new endeavor, Clark told NYLON Magazine: “I jumped at the chance to explore themes of transgression, narcissism, youth, beauty, queerness, but through a female protagonist.” JB