Tuesday, July 26, 2011

St. Vincent Disected

Annie Clark of St. Vincent

What a delightful little downtown rollercoaster ride the new track from St. Vincent is. Exuding a charismatic city feel with the jazzy beats and whirring keyboard that cascade over Annie Clark’s pure vocals, “Surgeon” gets a little better with each click of the repeat button. The early starry-eyed feel and slow bump-beat sound like what would be the backdrop to an independent stroll of the maze-like downtown streets, although they don’t last long at that calming ambient pace. The lyrics recount a seemingly hazy summer spent “on her back” and trying to get along; ideas that could obviously mean a number of things based both the name of the song, as well as the wild and provocative instruments.

The chorus, and all of the intriguing noises that rise and fall around it, is perfect. Every time Clark dips back into her echoing coo’s alongside spiraling guitar and weird swaying sounds, her voice becomes a little more frantic and urgent – as if her walk through the lonely parallel buildings is quickening, and the busy traffic has become that sped-up neon mess seen in movie montages. The atmospheric, slack beginning is a delightful sort of lazy, and the chaotic build-up to the swelling electro halt of the song is powerful. It keeps you listening, even if it is a little hectic and a little offbeat. After all, some of the best things in life, and in music, are just that. The rest of St. Vincent’s forthcoming album Strange Mercy will hopefully bring more of that endearing weirdness to the forefront.


Look for the remainder of Strange Mercy in stored on September 13, 2011.

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