Leaping Down The Rabbit Hole

You could take a train to Nashville to hear quality music but you missed the shuttle that took St. Vincent to another planet. But worry not, their music is available here on Earth and their latest music sounds like something managed by NASA.
Anne Lewis of St. Vincent
Photo credit: Peter Kaminski/WENN.com

Remember Björk? If you didn't worship her, I bet you thought she was weird. But the more you watched, listened and learned, you couldn't turn away from her mystifying, musical offerings.

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So when I discovered Annie Clark of St. Vincent, it felt nostalgic. I honestly wanted to click "X" to escape the window in the first few seconds of "Rattlesnake," but I managed to listen right through the end.

And then replayed. Twice.

What was happening to me? What was I even listening to? I would consider myself an open-minded music appreciator, but this? This was unlike anything I've heard.

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For skeptics, this is less like music and more like animated background noise that could easily be featured in the "Wing Mario Over the Rainbow" level of Super Mario 64. I can hear my mom already yelling at me to turn off my "drug" music. It is trippy, but it'll grow on you just like Icona Pop's "I Love It (I Don't Care)."

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I promise.

Annie Clark has a glorious air about her and a penchant for revolutionizing the guitar, an ability that could have been influenced by her jazz guitarist uncle, Tuck Andress. With "Rattlesnake," listeners are treated to her hypnotic outbursts, ones that embody the complete submergence of her self into her music. She sings and speaks from her toes, with every lyric bearing so much weight that it had to have been born from deep within her.

"The only sound out here is my own breath,
And my feet stuttering to make a path
Am I the only one in the only world?"

Maybe there is some underlying truth to my extraterrestrial proposal — Clark may in fact sound alien-like to drive her point home. What's your take, readers? And if you're a St. Vincent fan, why do you love their music? Leave a comment below. And although I recommend listening to the track first, you can watch Clark in all her glory below.

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Comments

Comments on "Music review: Bizarre or brilliant? St. Vincent's "Rattlesnake""

Jared February 28, 2014 | 2:49 PM

This review is way off in its characterization of Clark's music. Saying "this is less like music and more like animated background noise that could easily be featured in the 'Wing Mario Over the Rainbow'" says more about the writer's limitations as a music expert than it does about St. Vincent. Yes, there are a lot of what I suppose some people would call unconventional musical elements, but at the heart of it all there are beautiful melodies with recognizable rock and pop precedents. What may be more aptly described as bizarre are Clark's lyrics which even David Byrne, her biggest fan, sometimes approvingly finds "very creepy and disturbing." But the music itself isn't even really that adventurous, let alone bizarre. Clark says in most every interview that she's trying to find a middle path between "accessible and lunatic," but I think that's more a clever bit of hype than an accurate assessment of her music, or at least what we hear on the album, St. Vincent.

Crouton February 24, 2014 | 1:10 PM

Her name is Annie Clark, not Annie Lewis. Oops!

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