St Vincent, Masseduction
(Loma Vista/Caroline International)
WHEN Annie Clark, aka St Vincent, says of her remarkable fifth album, ‘if you want to know about my life, listen to this record,’ she’s not joking.
‘Pills to f***, pills to eat, pills, pills, pills down the kitchen sink,’ sings the Oklahoma-born musician — who has spoken openly of her mental health problems — on candid jerky electro-pop song Pills.
Were that not all personal enough, it features backing vocals from Clark’s ex-girlfriend, model Cara Delevingne.
An electric shock of robotic rock music with a very human heart, head and voice, Masseduction buzzes with intriguing contradictions.
It is bright, bold, absurd, cheeky, uncomfortably real and almost too damn good to be true.
Musings on relationships, sex and death run through the likes of the Madonna-worthy title track and the contrastingly sombre piano ballad Happy Birthday, Johnny, a regret-tinged ode to a friend lost to drugs and depression.
‘You dress me up in a nurse’s outfit,’ begins Savior, an impish rumination on sexual role-play set to a tongue-in-cheek naff kinky funky groove. The by turns sweeping and swaggering New York is sad, beautiful and dripping with attitude.
St Vincent is a force to be reckoned with.