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This is Pop Download-o-rama

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

REVIEW St. Vincent - Marry Me

Over the past year and a half, a number of established “indie” rock acts have released critically acclaimed recordings. Aside from that slightly oxymoronic label, artists like the Arcade Fire, Sufjan Stevens, and Great Lakes Swimmers have all traversed competent, albeit familiar thematic territory. Post-plunk? Heartcore? Acoustiemo? (Hey I can invent them with the best, it’s entirely up to you to make them stick.) Yes people, its time to sell those passe Dashboard Confessional and Tori Amos cd’s, emotional resonance is back and St. Vincent has done it right. Annie Clark’s, (known professionally as St. Vincent) debut release, Marry Me is an engaging work that has exceeded all of my expectations. Clark, a former member of both the Polyphonic Spree and Sufjan Stevens's band, seems to have developed a unique ear for pop and the better parts of both those groups feature prominently on her debut.

Marry Me, is a record I have listened to many times in the past couple of weeks. With every subsequent listen it slowly reveals itself and I like it a little more. Heartfelt without being overwrought this recording is special. Songs are well structured and Clark's vocals and instrumentation are stellar. Her artistic vision is a unique one and she manages to blend a very real sense of romance and drama with sardonic wit. Where some of the aforementioned bands come across as cloyingly earnest Clark uses humour to achieve her end. One listen to “Jesus Saves, I Spend” and the lyrically harsh “Your Lips Are Red” and you will get an idea of what I mean. (Download Now, Now by St. Vincent here. Right Click, Save Target As.)

Marry Me is a refreshing release and a truly excellent debut. Even better, as wonderful as this release is the promise of what lies ahead musically for St. Vincent is equally exciting. There is no doubt Annie Clark will become a significant force in music in the coming years. It will be thrilling to follow her every step of the way.

Watch for St. Vincent opening for the National at select dates this Fall.

Recommended if you like: Sufjan Stevens

1 comment:

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