Apologies for it all being quiet round here this week, a mixture of work and family illness, anyway, I’m back now!
I’m very excited about St. Vincent’s forthcoming self-titled album (as I’ve mentioned before) and I can’t wait to get my mits on it. Thus far, ‘Digital Witness’ is my favourite new track of the year, and while Annie Clark unveiled the track a few weeks ago, she’s now unveiled the video proper. It’s really rather cool, and not a little weird.
You can buy this track now. The video (not the song, for obvious reasons) remind me a little of Blur’s video for ‘The Universal,’ if a little less explicitly an hommage to A Clockwork Orange
St. Vincent is released by Caroline on February 24.
It’s funny, I remember not being particularly impressed with an early St. Vincent single I was sent to review, ‘Jesus Saves, I Spend.’ The joke was clearly on me, because I have realised that Annie Clarke is, of course, absolutely brilliant.
She’s now about to release her fourth solo album (in addition to her collaboration with David Byrne, Love This Giant), which is self-titled and comes out on February 24 in the UK.
So far she has unveiled two tracks from the album, ‘Birth In Reverse’ and ‘Digital Witness’ and I encourage you to stream them both now, and then go and pre-order the album if you like them (which I really hope you do):
David Byrne & St. Vincent ‘Love This Giant.’ (4AD)
If it surprises you that David Byrne and St. Vincent have collaborated on an album together, then it shouldn’t. Both of them, after all, have demonstrated (in the case of Byrne over thirty-five years!) that they are both capable of writing pop songs, whilst also having an urge to experiment and produce something new.
And they’ve managed to do that on Love This Giant. There’s what the press release -very accurately -describes an an ‘explosive brass band’ which provides the backing for much of the album, along with a drum machine. The result is that it seems like a very funky jazz sort of backing, not in a musically self-indulgent way, either…in a way that seems to be unmistakeably the two protagonists.
This is definitely an album born out of leftfield, and it won’t appeal to those simply expecting numbers in the vein of ‘Actor Out Of Work’ or ‘And She Was.’ But if you’ve heard ‘Who,’ the album’s opening track, it gives an idea of what the album’s spirit is like. You may not find you love this album…but it’s sure as heck worth spending some time with.
David Byrne and St. Vincent will release their collaborative album Love This Giant on September 10.
Two years in the making, they don’t appear to be touring it in the UK just yet (just the US and Canada). The tracklisting for the album is as follows:
2. “Weekend in the Dust”
3. “Dinner For Two”
4. “Ice Age”
5. “I Am An Ape”
6. “The Forest Awakes”
7. “I Should Watch TV”
11. “The One Who Broke Your Heart” (ft. The Dap-Kings and Antibalas)
12. “Outside of Space & Time”
You can download the album’s opening track ‘Why’ below:
Texan Annie Clark’s third album – the follow-up to 2009’s rather wonderful Actor – demonstrates why her profile and reputation are continuing to grow rather nicely.Clark is an artist who thinks outside the box and gives the impression of being in total control. This record demonstrates once and for all that she is not just another femail singer-songwriter – but an artist who performs in the vein of a Kate Bush or a Laurie Anderson.
This record is more synthesizer-driven than Actor -‘Northern Lights’ and ‘Surgeon’ are two very different tracks whichshow Clark pushing the extremes of what can be done within the confines of the pop song.
The standout track on Actor was probably ‘Actor Out Of Work’ and I think ‘Cruel’ is the outstanding track here. If I have a criticism of this record, it would be that the lyrics can sometimes seem a little below par. ‘No; if I ever meet the dirty policeman who roughed you up…?’ er, what exactly?
Whilst I think there is a truly outstanding album yet to come from Ms. Clark, this album shows her continuing to grow, as an artist to continue watching. She is getting on top of here game, fairly ahead of it in many ways – and best of all, doesn’t play the game.
Yup, 17 Seconds blog is back in business, so to speak. The bandwith, which gets refreshed every month had been used up earlier than normal. So glad people are reading this, if you’d like to leave comments that’s nice too, and could the people who keep spamming me please go away!
Apologies if you’ve been trying to read this and wondering what on earth was going on.
Hope you enjoy this, it’s one of my favourite songs of the year…
How to describe the second album by St. Vincent (nee Annie Clark)? Damn fantastic, that’s how. She doesn’t even cast a disdainfl raised eyebrow in the look of those ten-a-penny confessional singer-songwriters and instead heads straight for the leftfield of wonder.
And I mean that. Actor shows her to be the missing link between Laurie Anderson, Joanna Newsom and Bjork. A fair bit of this album is completely bonkers, but -and here’s the catch – bonkers in a way that makes you have to go back and investigate the album again and again. With first single ‘Actor Out Of Work’ you feel here is a track that could shake up the mainstream as much as the aforementioned Anderson did back in 1981 with ‘O Superman.’ I genuinely hope it does, it’s one of the most exciting things I’ve heard this year.
Having been a member of the Polyphonic Spree, Sufjan Stevens’ backing band and performed with Glenn Branca’s guitar orchestra, here is a performer who takes her own notions of the avant garde and produces something beautiful, that requires repeated listens and commands your respect. Bring it on!