Culture May 15, 2017
With her wildly played electric guitar, practically operatic singing voice, and a head of fluffy curls, the artist St. Vincent is a force of nature. A hurricane of a musical performer, rocker St. Vincent has taken the industry by storm. The indie-rocker is perhaps one of the most creative people in the business at the moment. Her fourth and most current album, St. Vincent, came out in 2014 on Loma Vista/Republic record and sold 30,000 copies in the first week. St. Vincent songs can be unique and experimental, playing with seamless, thought-provoking musical blends of rock, electronic, and jazz. It is honest and heartfelt – maybe even a little weird like St. Vincent herself.
St. Vincent was born in September 28, 1982 as Annie Clark in Tulsa, Oklahoma. As a child, she adopted a love for theater and began playing guitar at an early age in Dallas, Texas. At the same time, she began listening to Nirvana and other grunge bands, where the confrontational, unconventional nature of the music appealed to her. Her love for jazz, however, grew when she worked as a roadie for her aunt and uncle’s jazz duo, Tuck & Patti. After graduating high school in 2001, she attended Berkley College of Music. However, she dropped out after 3 years there. Soon after, she joined the massive experimental rock group, The Polyphonic Spree. Clark eventually left the band in 2006 and instead played as a backup musician for various other groups.
In 2007, Annie Clark made her musical debut as St. Vincent with her first record, “Marry Me.” The name St. Vincent is a reference to the Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds song “There She Goes, My Beautiful World” and Clark’s great-grandmother. Her second music album, Actor (2009), took her all the way to 90th place on the Billboard 200 charts in the U.S. and to 161st place in the U.K. This success was her big break into popular lexicon. But, despite her newfound popularity, she still maintained her creative flair. Her next record, “Strange Mercy,” was released in 2011. The album was on the end-year best album list by Rolling Stone. In 2012, she collaborated on a new album with music icon David Byrne, the singer and creative center of the 1970s art rock band The Talking Heads. However, her most current album, St. Vincent, is what propelled her to 12th places on the Billboard charts in 2014. That same year, she played with Nirvana in their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Honors on HBO and on SNL.
Her genre-fluid music reflects her own personality. She is an enigma of a person. Off the stage, she is a private person. In an interview with Rolling Stone she stated, “I think you can fall in love with anybody. I don’t have anything to hide. But I’d rather the emphasis be on music.” You can get to know Clark best through her music. Simply put, St. Vincent’s artistic ability to create originality in a world full of normality is what makes her and her music the most interesting. Her refusal to be defined by present categories is what continues to draw us in.
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