‘I’ve Got a Loaded Magazine Clip, Waiting!’

For as long as Clark is speaking, “St. Vincent: Words + Music” (available here) feels

St. Vincent may be a slightly slippery character, but Annie Clark, the woman who records under that name, isn’t so much so. At least that’s the impression you’ll take away from the new audio project  that has just been released as one of the pilot projects for Audible’s new Words + Music series. If there’s an alluring mystique to the persona that Clark presents in her visually arresting shows or deep-dive-worthy albums, she seems almost surprisingly easygoing about deconstructing it all and discussing the personal meaning behind some of her fans’ most cherished songs in the new audiobook.” data-reactid=”19″>As larger-than-life rock stars go, St. Vincent may be a slightly slippery character, but Annie Clark, the woman who records under that name, isn’t so much so. At least that’s the impression you’ll take away from the new audio project  that has just been released as one of the pilot projects for Audible’s new Words + Music series. If there’s an alluring mystique to the persona that Clark presents in her visually arresting shows or deep-dive-worthy albums, she seems almost surprisingly easygoing about deconstructing it all and discussing the personal meaning behind some of her fans’ most cherished songs in the new audiobook.

here) feels like an especially revealing episode of “Fresh Air,” minus the Terry Gross. (The singer was in fact interviewed for the project, by veteran rock journalist Bill Flanagan, but his probing voice does not appear.) She discusses childhood panic attacks, having jazz singers Tuck & Patti as her aunt and uncle, her desire to escape Texas, apprenticing with both Sufjan Stevens and the Polyphonic Spree, finding salvation in work with David Byrne, and how her father’s imprisonment and mother’s health scare affected her music. The candor carries through to the themes on her most recent album, 2017’s “Masseduction,” and how she engages with social media in the present (spoiler: reluctantly). If there’s anything she’s not eager to be as an artist, it’s “my own sweaty used car salesman.”” data-reactid=”20″>For as long as Clark is speaking, “St. Vincent: Words + Music” (available here) feels like an especially revealing episode of “Fresh Air,” minus the Terry Gross. (The singer was in fact interviewed for the project, by veteran rock journalist Bill Flanagan, but his probing voice does not appear.) She discusses childhood panic attacks, having jazz singers Tuck & Patti as her aunt and uncle, her desire to escape Texas, apprenticing with both Sufjan Stevens and the Polyphonic Spree, finding salvation in work with David Byrne, and how her father’s imprisonment and mother’s health scare affected her music. The candor carries through to the themes on her most recent album, 2017’s “Masseduction,” and how she engages with social media in the present (spoiler: reluctantly). If there’s anything she’s not eager to be as an artist, it’s “my own sweaty used car salesman.”

But there’s a “more rock, less talk” aspect to the project, too, as Clark unveils solo home versions of some of the most powerful and brilliant songs of her storied but still young career, from “Marry Me” to “Prince Johnny” to “Severed Crossed Fingers,” with appropriate song annotations (all the down to where the grisly title image of that last song came from). These aren’t resurrected demos; as she explains in our interview, they were recorded specifically for the audiobook, under cover of quarantining, which makes this something very close to the new St. Vincent albums fans are hoping for.

 

It really was all home recordings that I did in my studio, by myself, in this break, completely new.

Most of them are completely new, with the exception of “Strange Mercy” and “Marry Me” — those were string arrangements that my friend Daniel Hart did for the solo St. Vincent shows on the last record, the “Fear the Future” tour. So that part of it had never been released in any proper way; it was just performed during the show. It was cool to get the chance to hear these really pretty versions.

I hope so. I really hope I didn’t ruin anything.

Oh my God, it’s everything! I mean, there’s your social media. I mean, there’s your rat with cocaine. And there’s your bold pronouncement of love. It really is everything! And I think more than anything, especially as a writer, and as I’ve gotten better as a writer, I actually try not to be judgmental of anything. I just try to not be judgmental of a character’s process, or my process, and just let it be. I’m not explaining that very well, but maybe it’ll come to me.

Yeah, and in general, we’re living in a time of a lot of “no bad thoughts, no bad thoughts.” And I just don’t think orthodoxy in any way, shape or form is the thing that’s going to propel us to a more compassionate future. The more you repress something, or the more you don’t allow the whole myriad of human thought and conversation and feeling and all that stuff, the more explosive you make it, you know? When you make art, you diffuse the bomb,

I’m pretty optimistic about the art that’s going to come out of this massive shift in culture. I really am. … I think people are just not going to have any bandwidth or any patience for things that aren’t real and moving to them. There’s a certain aspect of super-glossy pop music, or people who are throwing money around, that aspirational thing, that just is going to feel so Marie Antoinette. People have bigger things to worry about than, I don’t know, your contouring. I’m excited to see the ingenuity that comes out of this particular period.

I think we’re so far beyond a return to quote-unquote normalcy. I think we’re headed for a sort of unprecedented time in American history. … I’m so lucky I can work from quarantine and hide and do all that. But it’s a mixed bag for a lot of people. I know a lot of people who are creative for a living that are just really like, “What the hell do we write about? I mean, what are we going to say about this particular moment of time that we’re not all feeling?” It’s been a weird one for a lot of writers.

I don’t think I’m there yet to figure out exactly what [to plan]…  I think America is going to be so really consumed by other things for the rest of this year. It doesn’t seem like the time to weigh in, just yet.

Hell, yeah! What else are we going to do?

Variety’s Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.” data-reactid=”71″>Sign up for Variety’s Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Source Article