Critical Voices: St. Vincent, St. Vincent

February 27, 2014


Watching videos of Annie Clark, better known as, St. Vincent, move her fingers up and down the frets of her guitar so effortlessly, almost transiently, gives me chills.

Truly one of the best female guitar players I have seen, Clark began topping out the Billboard charts in as early as the release of her sophomore album, Actor, in 2011. While sounding unique has become quite difficult in the ever-expanding alternative rock scene, Clark manages to produce hypnotizingly original music in every single one of her albums.

St.Vincent, the artist’s newest record, is certainly no exception to this trend. With songs like “Birth in Reverse,” and “Digital Witness,” Clark displays a clear and emotional message about the modern, technological era of lost sentimentality and maintains her characteristically uncategorizable sound with with anti-harmonic guitar riffs and just the right amount of distortion.

Self-titling one’s album is a move that often represents an artist’s confidence. It is a shift towards the defining sound. I found this record to be the perfect way to distinguish her extraterrestrial vibes and rhythms. It shows the range of Clark’s incredible guitar skills and her improvement as an artist that has already made a statement in the indie rock arena.

St. Vincent reflects Clark’s experience in putting together records that can keep the listeners on the edge of their seats with a contrasting sequence of slower and more fast paced tracks. In “Rattlesnake,” the synth-heavy track is simple until, without warning, the listener is reminded what St. Vincent is all about.

The album moves forward with this sound, though there is the occasional interruption by tracks like “Prince Johnny,” which really highlights Clark’s sultry, captivating vocals and transports the listener into a different universe.

There’s a lot of merit in St. Vincent’s dedication to sounding different and her ability to develop music that is unlike any other. Sure, the songs are weird, but it can’t be denied that Clark’s work is a testament to creativity and originality.

St. Vincent’s each and every note is poignant and memorable. After the second or third play, you’ll begin to hear every unique aspect of Clark’s sound and soon find yourself utterly obsessed. One of the musical highlights of my year, St. Vincent really leaves a mark on the alternative rock world. Clark is saintly, indeed.


Voice’s Choices: “Prince Johnny”, “Digital Witness”


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