if one were to shortlist progressive musicians making serious waves in today’s modern climate, st. vincent would undoubtedly reign near the top of said list. annie clark’s extreme command of her guitar and the cohesiveness of her songwriting may have been best on display with last year’s st. vincent, but even a casual listener would concede that there had been prior sustained flourishes of prodigiousness.
take 2011’s strange mercy; clark pulled a sonic 180 degree turn in just four years and three albums, cultivating an aesthetic that is perhaps most truly her own (one could argue quite convincingly that st. vincent carries a bit of david byrne residue). on record it’s difficult to differentiate between synthesizer timbres and clark’s guitar tone, and it’s damn impressive to witness those hand-offs happening in a live setting. shortly after strange mercy dropped, annie clark brought her full band along to cut an impressive session for her label, 4ad. her’s is the first installment of this series to lack an audience, but the performance is so visceral and visually stunning that the presence of spectators would almost inhibit her full potential. check it out below.
chloe in the afternoon
year of the tiger