NPR : World Cafe

Filed Under:

St. Vincent On World Cafe

Though Annie Clark began as a member of Sufjan Stevens' touring band and The Polyphonic Spree, those experiences do little to explain the incredible things that happen on Strange Mercy, her third album under the moniker St. Vincent. As if unleashed from the constraints of her previous work, Clark straight-up shreds. Of course, the pyrotechnics of Strange Mercy might have something to do with her time spent at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, a hotbed of Herbie Hancock fanatics and guitar-tapping virtuosos, where musicians cut their teeth in basement practice rooms on deep funk grooves like those in "Surgeon."

Clark always gives the impression that she's a curious songwriter and musician, unwilling to settle for the easiest or sweetest arrangements, but this record finds her letting her hair down more than on 2009's dense and beautiful Actor. She's mentioned that her songwriting process for Strange Mercy differed from Actor's in that she began by writing whole songs, rather than gluing together interesting snippets. The songs rely less on tight, complex orchestration, while leaving more room for Clark to tear things apart. Hear St. Vincent perform songs from Strange Mercy on this session of World Cafe.

This segment originally aired on September 28, 2011.

Copyright 2011 WXPN-FM. To see more, visit http://www.xpn.org/.

NPR

'Baskets' Takes Zach Galifianakis From French Clown School To The Rodeo Ring

The comic, who plays a rodeo clown in his new FX comedy series, says he is "not creeped out by clowns." Galifianakis is also the creator of the Emmy Award-winning web comedy series Between Two Ferns.
NPR

The Shocking Truth About America's Ethanol Law: It Doesn't Matter (For Now)

Ted Cruz doesn't like the law that requires the use of ethanol in gasoline. So what would happen if it was abolished? The surprising answer: not much, probably.
NPR

Carly Fiorina Ends Bid For Republican Presidential Nomination

The former Hewlett-Packard CEO received a brief burst of attention after performing well in debates last fall, but she failed to catch the interest of Republican voters.
NPR

Twitter Tries A New Kind Of Timeline By Predicting What May Interest You

Twitter has struggled to attract new users. Its latest effort at rejuvenation is a new kind of timeline that predicts which older posts you might not want to miss and displays them on top.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.