September 6, 2011

First Listen: St. Vincent, 'Strange Mercy' (Michael Katzif, September 4, 2011, NPR)

Annie Clark's popularity has grown considerably in the past few years -- from a costumed member of Polyphonic Spree and winged member of Sufjan Stevens' band to an exceptional artist in her own right as St. Vincent -- but so too have her musical gifts. For all that's been said about her beguiling vocals and her knack for fearlessly creative compositions, what shines throughout St. Vincent's new Strange Mercy is Clark's guitar work. From the first bit of lip-curling guitar buzz in "Chloe in the Afternoon" to the freak-out riffs of "Northern Lights," it's clear that Clark has mastered her instrument in a way increasingly few in indie rock do. She manipulates and contorts and totally shreds on the guitar, creating a full arsenal of textures that provide the backbone of St. Vincent's third and best album so far.

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Posted by at September 6, 2011 5:06 AM
  

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