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St. Vincent - Strange Mercy

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  • St. Vincent - Strange Mercy

    Third album from American singer-songwriter Annie Clark, St. Vincent! It's getting rave reviews, and is the amazing follow up to her last album. People need to check her out!



    Tracklist

    1. "Chloe in the Afternoon"
    2. "Cruel"
    3. "Cheerleader"
    4. "Surgeon"
    5. "Northern Lights"
    6. "Strange Mercy"
    7. "Neutered Fruit"
    8. "Champagne Year"
    9. "Dilettante"
    10. "Hysterical Strength"
    11. "Year of the Tiger"

    Luc

    I have hatred towards the entire world,
    and you are no exception

  • #2
    Here is the first single from the album - flawless!

    LISTEN



    Oh, and do check out her performance of the song Cruel on David Letterman:

    WATCH

    Luc

    I have hatred towards the entire world,
    and you are no exception

    Comment


    • #4
      Did not know about that video, thanks! It was splendid! Marrow is awesome, but I prefer The Party or The Strangers from that album.

      I just love Surgeon - the ending is really something is it not!? The very last seconds are hyper-ventilating!
      Luc

      I have hatred towards the entire world,
      and you are no exception

      Comment


      • #5
        UKMIX fellows, you need to hear this! It will blow your minds away, literally.. B.L.O.W!

        Originally posted by Vindrag
        Luc

        I have hatred towards the entire world,
        and you are no exception

        Comment


        • #6
          (this act always reminds me of the hospitals in Dublin and Sydney!!!):

          Originally posted by [url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2011/oct/27/st-vincent-strange-mercy
          The Guardian[/url]]St Vincent: 'I needed to know where the exits were'

          St Vincent – aka Annie Clark – is finally unleashing her dark side on her new album. She tells Charlotte Richardson Andrews why Marilyn Monroe might be responsible


          There's a scene in the video for the song Cruel, in which Annie Clark, the 29-year-old multi-instrumentist who records and performs as St Vincent – is held prisoner in the boot of a car by a Stepford-style family, feet bound and head hooded. Despite her captivity, she has inexplicably managed to hold on to her electric guitar, out of which she plucks the song's spectacular, Blondie-like hook, over a percussion line snagged from Lipps, Inc's 1980 hit Funky Town. "I've been playing for so long that I don't remember not being able to play. I just remember being obsessed with it," Clark says, nibbling on an octopus and potato dish in the candlelit patio garden of a small Italian restaurant in Greenwich Village in Manhattan. Why on earth, in those circumstances, would she ever have dreamed have letting go of her guitar?

          Does she still have her first guitar? "No. It was a three-quarter-sized classical guitar. I traded it in for an electrical, a Peavey Raptor – one of those terrible guitars you'd sell with the terrible amp in a package bargain deal." Her current favourite is a 1967 Harmony Bobkat, which she explains is "not technically a great guitar, it's not necessarily a player's guitar, but the pickups are fantastic, and it has a super-sensitive whammy bar, so you can bend notes really quickly". It's a trick she deploys with aplomb on her recently released third album, Strange Mercy, sending thick crunching strings off into jagged waves of noise. "Oh, I use and abuse it," she says. "Guitar is just something I can do. So much of it now is muscle memory, just instinct."

          The unsettling, cinematic quality of her most recent videos is fitting for an artist who steeps her work with film references: Strange Mercy lifts from the work of director Eric Rohmer and the barbiturate-laced musings of Marilyn Monroe's diaries. Clark writes eerily elegant rock songs, pristine numbers weighted with unsettling subtexts. In Cruel's case, the video seems to point to the communicative power of music, and it's ability to speak for us when we are otherwise voiceless. She declines to accept credit for the video, which was written by director Terri Timely, but concedes the interpretation feeds neatly into the album's themes of bondage and release. "That's a beautiful way to look at it," she considers. "I guess trying to throw my body into the guitar is so natural for me that I don't even know how to explain it. I can't imagine life without it. I'm unqualified to do anything other than music."

          Clark started playing the guitar as a 12-year-old in Dallas, holing herself up in her bedroom to master chords. She taught herself to sing by yowling along to Pearl Jam albums (three solo albums in, and she's "only recently" taken singing lessons). In 2001, she moved to Boston, to study at Berklee College of Music, but dropped out after three years and joined the Polyphonic Spree, the group who truly put the "cult" into "cult band". Then came a spell in Sufjan Stevens's backing band, before she went solo for 2007's thrilling debut, Marry Me. The followup, 2009's Actor, was written using the software program GarageBand, but for Strange Mercy, Clark underwent a "technology detox", coaxing sketches of songs from simple guitar melodies. Starting them that way, she explains, "meant they'd have a compass, a whole roadmap".

          She wanted to create "something to really dig into live" with Strange Mercy. That meant out with riffs, and in with hooks. "I don't do a lot of strumming on this record because I think it's really boring," she says. "Guitar can take up all of the mid-range, and I can't think of a more boring thing to put in this wide swath of EQ. There's a little strumming on Cheerleader, and Year of the Tiger, but it's tucked in."

          The resulting work is a sublime affair, sewn together with intense, ambiguous narratives and Clark's beguilingly languid vocals. Performing the songs has become something of an exorcism for her. "A song has a life of its own. It's an autonomous thing, separate from your own experience, almost," she says. "And the mere repetition of it means it's subject to change; it means approaching it differently, expressing different emotional aspects of it. It doesn't feel like wallowing."

          The talk of wallowing is interesting, given the word's association with depressive illnesses. Clark is candid about her past experiences with anxiety attacks, which began when she was eight or nine. "I was very ashamed of it," she says. "I thought I was going crazy and I didn't want anyone to know. Everyday life was fraught. I always needed to know where the exits were." Out of her anxiety bloomed a skill for dark, disarming humour. In the song Northern Lights, she gazes at the aurora borealis and sees only a harbinger of the "end times". "I guess I thought that line was kinda funny," she says with a gentle shrug.

          If Actor smothered Clark's darker self under a permasmile of Disney sunshine symphonic pop, Strange Mercy is an ecstasy of release. There's a breathless, sultry sense of sex pervading the record, from the striking fetishistic art cover to the opening track Chloe in the Afternoon, an electrifying S&M fantasy based on Eric Rohmer's 1972 film of the same title. "I've always been drawn to the subversive. I think power and how to wield power is an interesting thing to unpack. And the dynamics of power, be it in a sexual context, or general life, is interesting to me." Her recent frenetic, shred-heavy covers of Big Black's Bad Penny and Kerosene seem to fit in with that direction, given Big Black's consistent interest in the most violent and unpleasant expressions of power relationships. Those songs also let her explode in a way her own songs perhaps do not. "I was in rehearsal the whole weekend," she said. "We were playing a song – Northern Lights, I think – and I had a real guitar moment," she says. "My keyboard player just looked at me and said, 'Annie, why are you so angry?' He was kidding, of course, but there are few outlets that let you really sort out your head without hurting anybody."

          Strange Mercy, she says, is very much about anaesthetising pain, and searching for ways to transform, "to be a whole person", a sentiment expressed in a line Clark lifted from Monroe's diaries for the song Surgeon: "Best finest surgeon, come cut me open." "Marilyn was this relic of the 60s, and not particularly compelling when I was younger, but when I started reading about her, I really sympathised," she says. "For all the Hollywood glitz, it was a pretty dark life. That line was just the strangest, most poignant line. I wonder how she'd feel about it being put into a pop song."

          The Monroe story, of course, ended badly: she was found dead in her bedroom by her psychoanalyst, her blood filled with nembutal and chloral hydrate. It was ruled to be suicide, though conspiracy theories abound. For Clark, though, there is something somehow redeeming in having been able to look back at Monroe's troubles and find a spark that could give life to new art. "Creating something out of something unfortunate feels productive," she says. She gives a small, satisfied nod.

          • St Vincent tours the UK and Ireland from 10-16 November. Details: ilovestvincent.com

          Comment


          • #7
            Aww she reminds me of Beren, he used to love her, I'll listen to her!
            My tits are made of silicone, just like the Earth and sea...

            Comment


            • #8
              He did? Doesn't sound like Beren music to me. Anyway. I've only heard the album a handful of times at my friends house, I've not purchased it yet.
              Luc

              I have hatred towards the entire world,
              and you are no exception

              Comment


              • #10
                Originally posted by Blondini
                Beren always like quirky women. Apart from Bjork!
                I know! :evil: I miss his curls!
                My tits are made of silicone, just like the Earth and sea...

                Comment


                • #11
                  Originally posted by Blondini
                  Beren always like quirky women. Apart from Bjork!
                  Which begs the question also, why don't you like Imogen Heap, Vin? Your absence from her threads given your tastes is odd.
                  Tony's Charts ft Hits / Albums (8th August 20) - Hannah Georgas, Hannah Ferm, Alain Johannes, Arre! Arre!, The Ninth Wave, Taylor Swift ft Bon Iver, The Streets ft Idles, The Psychedelic Furs, Wye Oak, SPC ECO, Max Richter, Rival Consoles, !!!, Jon Anderson, Clint Mansell and Clint Walsh, Hatty Keane, Alanis Morissette

                  Comment


                  • #12
                    This have been doing amazing on Year-End charts in several magazines! So happy for her! The album is truly amazing! Cohesive! I've not become bored of any track so far. Obsessed with this at the moment:

                    Northern Lights
                    Luc

                    I have hatred towards the entire world,
                    and you are no exception

                    Comment


                    • #13
                      Yeah this album is great, my favourite has to be Cheerleader, this performance is so good.

                      Comment


                      • #14
                        It's a current addiction for me. Amazing album!!


                        "Cruel" music video made my Top 10:
                        http://www.ukmix.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=86897
                        vulnicura.

                        Comment


                        • #15
                          Yes James! I love that performance too, here's another favourite of mine: Northern Lights (live in Toronto)!!

                          She's crazy! Kevin: a lot of reviewers compare her with Kate Bush? Do you agree?
                          Luc

                          I have hatred towards the entire world,
                          and you are no exception

                          Comment


                          • #16
                            Originally posted by Vindrag
                            She's crazy! Kevin: a lot of reviewers compare her with Kate Bush? Do you agree?
                            Actually, not. I don't think they sound similar at all.
                            vulnicura.

                            Comment


                            • #17
                              Originally posted by Vindrag
                              Yes James! I love that performance too, here's another favourite of mine: Northern Lights (live in Toronto)!!

                              She's crazy! Kevin: a lot of reviewers compare her with Kate Bush? Do you agree?
                              Great performance! I love that song too, I think it's my 2nd favourite off the album actually.

                              Also I don't really listen to Kate Bush but from the couple of songs I've heard, I don't think they sound alike at all I swear, reviewers compare any female artist that are being experimental to Bjork or Kate Bush, even when their music is nothing alike.

                              Comment


                              • #18
                                Many times because the similarities actually exists, as I think they do with St. Vincent. Not much on this album though, more on the other two.

                                So I've noticed James! I hope you'll find time to experience Kate Bush's music sometime, for what it is.

                                Surgeon however is the BEST track on this album! The ending is such a psycho journey!
                                Luc

                                I have hatred towards the entire world,
                                and you are no exception

                                Comment


                                • #19
                                  YES! Cheerleader video, love it !!

                                  Comment


                                  • #21
                                    So I stumbled upon the Cheerleader video from the sidebar of Youtube. And WOW. I'm a casual fan of hers, been listening to her since she debuted back in the day with her interesting but mildly irritating debut.

                                    But this album is phenomenal, I downloaded the entire thing based on Cheerleader alone and have been really pleased!

                                    Also the video reminded me of when I first went to see a Ron Mueck exhibition at the gallery. Memories...
                                    Stan of: Devendra Banhart / Taylor Swift / Grimes / Utada Hikaru / Tori Amos
                                    Follow me on Last.fm?

                                    Comment


                                    • #22
                                      She performed yesterday in Porto, I wish I was there
                                      "King isn't overrated, your fave is just undertalented."

                                      Comment


                                      • #23
                                        What luck! It took me so long to fall in love with her completely (I can't stop listening to all her albums now) and then I find out she's playing live here this Saturday. Got my ticket!
                                        Stan of: Devendra Banhart / Taylor Swift / Grimes / Utada Hikaru / Tori Amos
                                        Follow me on Last.fm?

                                        Comment


                                        • #24
                                          Great timing Cactuar!

                                          I've yet to see her live, but from the few performances I've watched online - she seem to be a very powerful live act. Glad to see that you have discovered her music mor in depth! I adore all her albums!
                                          Luc

                                          I have hatred towards the entire world,
                                          and you are no exception

                                          Comment


                                          • #25
                                            She is EXTREMELY intense! Halfway through, she climbed the stage, rammed through the crowd, then stumbled into people as part of the performance, and she stumbled into me twice but I was so starstruck I just took it smiling like an idiot, and some chick grabbed hold of her and hugged her and Annie kept on singing, then the second time she stumbled beside me I put out my arm and she grabbed hold of it and climbed up and went back onstage and I was just like O_________O WHAT JUST HAPPENED and was in a daze the rest of the night.
                                            Stan of: Devendra Banhart / Taylor Swift / Grimes / Utada Hikaru / Tori Amos
                                            Follow me on Last.fm?

                                            Comment


                                            • #26
                                              Getting back into this, will probably chart on my album chart this week!

                                              Surgeon >>>
                                              My tits are made of silicone, just like the Earth and sea...

                                              Comment


                                              • #27
                                                Funny!!! I've also been listening quite a lot to this recently! Champagne Year.

                                                But yeah! Surgeon >>>>
                                                Luc

                                                I have hatred towards the entire world,
                                                and you are no exception

                                                Comment


                                                • #28
                                                  It’s #43 on Slant Magazine’s list of the 100 Best Albums of the 2010‘s:

                                                  43. St. Vincent, Strange Mercy
                                                  Strange Mercy thrives on the interaction between the said and the unsaid, with Annie Clark using her guitar to evoke the shuddersome feelings she can’t bring herself to vocalize. That means it has to make some pretty awful sounds, so Clark channels some of noise rock’s great guitarists (principally Steve Albini and Lee Ranaldo) to give voice to the voracious id lurking behind her coyly measured singing. Cole
                                                  https://www.slantmagazine.com/music/...the-2010s/amp/
                                                  Britney Spears • Janet Jackson • Christina Aguilera • Michael Jackson • Selena Gomez • Hilary Duff • Taylor Swift • Justin Timberlake

                                                  Comment


                                                  • #29
                                                    Every time I listen to this, I get reminded about the connection of Beren.

                                                    Regards,
                                                    K. Smith
                                                    MyCFAVisit asda Walmart One

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