St. Vincent: No… Not The Hospital
By Becca Gleason on August 13, 2010
Greetings! My name is Becca, and I, along with my blog partner / best-bud Matt, will have the pleasure of recommending some delicious ear candy. Music nerds unite!
Upon request, I would love to share with you, The Nerdist community, a special treat. I bring you St. Vincent! No, not the actual saint… or the hospital in New York City. If you haven’t heard of her already, I am happy to change this as soon as humanly possible. She, my friends, is one of the coolest women / musicians / poets around – who has a special ability to make your ears orgasm (eargasm?).
Okay, that may have been inappropriate, but still… she’s phenomenal.
Dubbing herself after a medical center in Greenwich Village, St. Vincent veered from the typical band-naming strategy (“THE”, followed by some meaningful proper noun). To Clark, The St. Vincent of Manhattan is where famous poet, Dylan Thomas, met his own death in 1953. Thus she elected the name because, in her mind, “It’s the place where poetry goes to die.” Deep, No?
Annie Clark is one of my favorite musicians on the planet. Sometimes it’s difficult to decipher whether I want to be her, or be with her (mind you, I’m straight). When she sings, it sounds like you’re hearing it from far away, yet its sincerity continues to linger. Her ghostly cooing placed with breathless reverb comprises a near operatic element, especially in her most recent album, Actor. She also hues many of her songs with subtle background harmonies, while filling the air with logically segmented percussion, piano, and strings. She’s of the few that can be both sweet and rockin’ at the same time. St. Vincent’s a mind-blower, people.
As a fan, one of the best and most endearing qualities of this girl is her frequent surprise appearances. As much as I would love to go see Annie Clark perform at any opportunity, my concert funds are depressingly low. But somehow, I’ve managed to see her play live on three separate occasions, meet her once, and only one of these was on purpose. “Surprise! St. Vincent’s here!” is a phrase I’ve gotten somewhat used to, and I’m not complaining. Not one bit.
Purposefully, I had the pleasure of watching St. Vincent sing with Ben Gibbard of Death Cab For Cutie at a Central Park Summer-stage show, covering the songs of Simon and Garfunkel. But Clark surprised us in Cincinnati this April when she popped on the stage to perform Roslyn, the beautiful duet played with Justin Vernon of Bon Iver (which, *cough* you may have heard on the Twilight Sega: New Moon soundtrack, *cough*). And AGAIN, in June, she left audiences in disbelief when she walked on the Radio City stage to perform “Afraid of Everyone” with Sufjan Stevens and The National.
Certainly Annie Clark’s reappearance in my life has not gone unappreciated. Her voice is diverse, possessing a classical twang that can mesh incredibly with rock. The multi-instrumentalist flawlessly accompanies herself on the guitar and piano, mixing the harsher sounds of the strings with the melodic quality of keys. She’s even collaborated with some of the greats like Andrew Bird, Beck, and The National (if you haven’t heard of them, please do some googling, they’re all wonderful). Not to mention she’s the most intimidatingly adorable and genuine musicians I’ve held a conversation with. I certainly hope Annie Clark doesn’t go away anytime soon, the world, in my mind, is a better place with her in it.
So, my fellow nerdlings, if you liked this recommendation, visit www.the-sound-advice.com for lots more!