Her musical style has often been characterized as flirting with the places where madness and happiness collide. To Annie Clark, the voice and musician behind St. Vincent, this is a compliment. In an interview with the Denver Westword, Clark states: "I like when things come out of nowhere and blindside you a little bit. I think any person who gets panic attacks or has an anxiety disorder can understand how things can all of a sudden turn very quickly. I think I'm sublimating that into the music."
Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Clark picked up the guitar and was actively playing by age 12. She got her feet wet in the music business by working as tour manager for her uncle's band, Tuck & Patti. Clark made her way to Boston's Berklee College of Music, but dropped out after three years. The discipline and judgement of an art academic setting was simply not for Clark, who was more interested in finding her voice and musical style in an unfettered setting. In 2003 she joined the eclectic and quirky Polyphonic Spree, touring with them in America and Europe, and in 2006 Clark joined Sufjan Stevens' tour where she had the opportunity to play from her first EP Paris is Burning.
Clark has shaped St. Vincent's style and sound through her multi-instrumentation and polysemus lyrics. She plays bass, organ, piano, and theramin and her accompany music often includes cellos, flutes, and trumpets. Clark draws her inspiration from as varied places as pop culture television (her album Marry Me was named after the same catch phrased used on the show Arrested Development) and Disney movies to the highly personal.
Her latest album, St. Vincent, has been described by Clark herself as "dance music you can play at your funeral." The songs on the new disc traffic in the confessional vein and touch upon such varied subjects as technology, love, to consumerism, and the challenges and (sometimes) terror of social media. Drew Haskins of the Duke Chronicle sums up Clark's latest forray: "St. Vincent traverses innovative musical territory while taking her audience through an emotional ringer. A lesser artist might have trouble pulling off this feat, but St. Vincent is no ordinary artist. On “St. Vincent,” she stakes her claim as one of the best musicians working today with this absolute knockout of an album."
Check out "Digital Witness" and be sure to check out all the grooves on I AM THAT GIRL's Music Monday's playlist, updated each week!
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