St. Vincent reborn in self-titled album

photo courtesy of St. Vincent’s official website:

Molly Wade, Co-Editor in Chief

The room is buzzing as it is before every concert at the House of Blues in Houston. This night is different, perhaps because of the way the crowd is murmuring or the low hum of nondescript music in the background. Most concerts draw a specific target audience, but not in this case. People from all walks of life are here  – varying from middle-aged women in bedazzled jeans to your average college-age hipster.

She finally walks out with the band. Maybe her aura comes from her album covers with her deep eyes and tight mouth that insist privacy and an air of mystery. Whatever it is, Annie Clark, better known as St. Vincent, captivates her audience.

Her wild curls are matted like a white mane. She rocks the blue eye-shadow. She looks like she is something out of a Tim Burton movie. Add a little bit of strobe lighting and suddenly she is the Corpse Bride.

Clark’s newly released album is her first that is self-titled. Compared to her previous works ‘Actor’ and ‘Strange Mercy,’ this album is one of the first where Clark is glowing with a newfound confidence. And even though her lyrics can be out of place often times, her strange sounding guitar solos are beautiful.

Some of her darker songs like “Prince Johnny,” “Huey Newton” and “Digital Witness” even though they are more sinister in meaning are still catchy. Each song sounds unique and is appealing to a different person. And throughout the album she creates a unity but still keeps the selection diverse. Open to interpretation, Clark’s lyrics are not universal but they are certainly vague enough to be true poetry.

Clark was born in Oklahoma proudly calls Texas her home. Even though she was raised in Dallas, she warmly greets and jokes with the Houston crowd. Amidst cheers and whooping, Clark laughs and quizzes the crowd on what they have in common. For just a moment, she seems like she is a close friend and not a distant artist. But her mystery is what keeps people interested and gives her music more intrigue even thought it already has plenty to spare.