[rating: 4.5]

St. Vincent: St. Vincent

Label: 4ad Records

Release date:  September 13, 2011

Annie Clark is a woman of almost painterly beauty who would, in all likelihood, cut a bitch if she needed to. Beneath her gracefully composed chamber pop lies a scratchy, violent underbelly. With Strange Mercy, Clark achieves the perfect balance of porcelain elegance and distorted ugliness she’s spent three albums working to hit. Serrated guitar and some seriously agitated synthesizers—the coda of “Surgeon” sounds like something off a particularly wigged-out Bernie Worrell record—rip straight through strings, woodwinds and Clark’s own crystalline voice, leaving fractures in the delicate arrangements that take on a skewed sort of loveliness themselves.


– Matt Singer

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