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KUMD Album Reviews: St. Vincent
Annie Clark has been a part of such acts as the Polyphonic Spree and Sufjan Stevens's
touring band. For her third album as St. Vincent, Clark enlisted musicians who have
played with Midlake, Beck, and others to record Strange Mercy in her hometown:
Basement DJ: The Doctor
The album, like previous St. Vincent releases, is highly nuanced but the juxtaposition of Clark's delicate vocals and dexterous guitar playing remains the focal point. Strange Mercy may be the most intricately arranged St. Vincent album yet – it is certainly the most confrontational. The distorted guitar riffing over the primarily electronic atmospherics is the most striking element of Strange Mercy's distinct pop sound. The album seems to lose a bit of momentum around the halfway point but finishes strongly with the last two tracks. Strange Mercy features many standout moments such as the layered harmonies in "Neutered Fruit", the deft melodic hook of "Hysterical Strength", and the commanding vocal breakthrough halfway into the title track. St. Vincent will be making an appearance on the World Cafe on September 28th and will kick off the tour in support of Strange Mercy in Minneapolis on October 2nd at the McGuire Theatre.
Recommended if you like: Feist, tUnE-yArDs, Cults
Focus Tracks: "Cheerleader", "Surgeon", "Year of the Tiger"