Day for Night Artist Spotlight: St. Vincent

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Annie Erin Clark is a Grammy award winning artist who is better known by her stage name St. Vincent. Though born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Clark moved to Dallas at the age of three and was partly inspired by her uncle and jazz musician Tuck Andress to pick up the guitar at age 12. Her inspirations soon became the likes of John Coltrane and Miles Davis as well as Pink Floyd and Pavement, which fancied her siblings (she has eight of them). After high school she attended the Berklee College of Music for three years before dropping out and joining Polyphonic Spree, a Texas psych-folk band with whom she played at European festivals. It was her first step in the music industry, which inspired her to become the artist she is today.

Her stage name is also the name of the hospital at which Dylan Thomas stayed before he died, which fits so well with her favoring of things that are a little bit off and creepy. Her straightforwardness and high energy reflect in her music. As her debut album “Marry Me” (2007) was critically acclaimed and created an indie platform that was soft and comfortable for her to continue on, her sophomore album “Actor” was heavy with guitar notes and intricate sound combinations that further highlighted her talent. Clark both arranged and co-produced on the latter album, inspired by her favorite classic films that all had a sense of the whimsical and purity yet were bloody and violent, kind of like the line between Disney and Brothers Grimm, which Clark attempted to walk. What resulted was an album full of beautiful, dramatic and very real tracks.

For her third album “Strange Mercy”, Clark spent most of her time in Seattle where Death Cab For Cutie drummer Jason McGerr offered up an office space to her for a month where she proceeded to spend 12 hours a day in a daily pattern of coffee, exercise, work, dinner, sleep, repeat. In 2011 it was released and became Clark’s highest charting album at the time. In 2013 she signed with Republic Records and talk began of her fourth album “St. Vincent” (2014). The album was received magnificently and was named best album of the year by many publications. Clark received a Grammy nomination for it in the Best Alternative Music Album category and subsequently won the award in 2015.

Her latest album “Masseduction” was released last month and peaked at number 10 on Billboard 200. It is an album that echoes the sounds of her previous ones from the melodic craft of “Marry Me” to the rough beat of “St. Vincent”. Clark has said that the album focuses on themes of power, sex, sadness, drugs, relationships and death. In comparison to her previous album archetypes, “Masseduction” is first person – a record that is simply about her life.

She has started touring for it at the end of last month and will be one of the headliners at Day For Night (Dec. 15-17). Purchase tickets here and go listen to some stories through futuristic pop and psychedelic rock.

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