Didn't think I was going anywhere, did you? Once again, it's been a bit quiet on the Look at me, I made a blog front. But, after an unfortunate hard drive crash, an apartment move out of Manhattan, and a quiet passing of another birthday, I'm glad to be back with a series of very belated posts that will be up this week.
Amidst the chaos of my life, I managed to sneak in some much-needed music therapy with a brief set by St. Vincent at the Virgin Megastore in Union Store. For inexplicable reasons, I am generally not a big fan of female singers, although there are several female vocalists that I do appreciate. After seeing her live, I've added St. Vincent to this growing list. Originally from Texas, Annie Clark aka St. Vincent is not a newcomer to the music scene with past solo efforts and as a member of Sufjan Stevens' touring band. While she's been highly recommended by my friend David, I didn't give St. Vincent a serious listen until I got my hands on her latest album, Actor.
Actor was a pleasant listen, but the stickiness factor of the album didn't kick in until I saw St. Vincent and her backing band. With the new album awkwardly playing through the store speakers in the background, St. Vincent and her band kicked off the short set with "The Strangers." The "jammier" songs like "Actor Out of Work" and "Marrow" showcased St. Vincent's phenomenal talents, as evidenced by the arranged layers of multiple instruments, as well as her ability to really rock it on the guitar. My current favorite song, "Laughing With a Mouth of Blood," was a more minimalist pop tune, with catchy lyrics and riffs. In combination with the unique instrumentals, the emotion that St. Vincent conveyed with her voice was what made the short performance leave a lasting impression. In general, Annie's sultry voice was so perfectly controlled that it was a little hard to believe your ears. In "The Party," she expressed a subtle vulnerability in her voice to accompany the ambiguous lyrics, suggesting a certain melancholy. Toward the end of the song, every member of the band joined her in acappella choral form, demonstrating that everyone onstage could indeed sing. Does anyone know more about the backing band members?
If you have a chance to see St. Vincent and her band, please do not hesitate to go. They only performed five songs of Actor, but it was enough to convince me to carefully listen to the rest of the album. Actor is currently available for purchase. Tickets to St. Vincent's Webster Hall show on May 20 are still available for purchase.
Actor Out of Work - St. Vincent
Laughing With a Mouth of Blood