St. Vincent: “Surgeon”
It’s funny to think about now, but just a few years ago, people were legitimately afraid of St. Vincent. The Dallas-raised, New York-based artist (otherwise known as Annie Clark) drew a number of raised eyebrows at her 2007 SXSW performance at the Austin Convention Center. Clark’s early live shows consisted of her alone onstage, stomping effects pedals and conjuring otherworldly sounds out of her guitar and her voice. The performances and songs are inherently unusual, but they’re captivating nonetheless. And if first single “Surgeon” is any indication, St. Vincent’s upcoming third album Strange Mercy could be her best effort yet.
St. Vincent’s 2007 debut Marry Me was well-received, but it was 2009′s Actor that established Clark as a premier artist. In interviews, Clark claimed she was influenced by Disney film scores in writing Actor. There’s certainly a degree of whimsy in her music, and she often incorporates strings and choral harmonies. But underneath the brightness is an current of tension and chaos, weaved together by Clark’s odd melodies. “Surgeon” is a perfect example of this, starting out slow and dreamy before exploding in the second half as Clark adds electronic and even dance elements to the ever-shifting song.
Strange Mercy (produced by Dallas’s John Congleton) comes out September 13. In the meantime, check out St. Vincent’s “Surgeon” below.