St Vincent © KLRU photo by Scott Newton

St. Vincent

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St. Vincent Season 35 by Farley Bookout

St. Vincent is known for writing songs full of lyrical “detail and charm” (Billboard) and “creative instrumentation and melodically special music” (Delusions of Adequacy). The “playful chanteuse and fearsome shredder“ (NY Times), also known as Annie Clark made her Austin City Limits debut June 20, 2009..

Marry Me, Clark’s recorded debut as St. Vincent, gave immediate notice that a new talent had emerged from Texas. Critics were entranced by the album’s precocious arrangements and elegant lyrics, and the steadily growing crowds at St. Vincent’s live shows were astonished by Clark’s gargantuan musical chops and her magnetic stage presence. Pitchfork wrote: “At every turn Marry Me takes the more challenging route of twisting already twisted structures and unusual instrumentation to make them sound perfectly natural and, most importantly, easy to listen to as she overdubs her thrillingly sui generis vision into vibrant life.”

Her second release, Actor, takes that debut’s ambition as its starting point and never looks back. The CD is “a uniquely potent cocktail of sounds and moods that’ll get you hooked, fast” (Entertainment Weekly). The arrangements are more masterful, the songwriting grander, the performances ever more confident and inspired. Clark developed an idiosyncratic writing process for Actor, immersing herself in some of her favorite films — Badlands, Pierrot le Fou, The Wizard of Oz, Stardust Memories, Sleeping Beauty — and beginning each song as a secret film score, then slowly giving it independence as its structure and lyrics came fully into focus.

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