Album review: St Vincent – St Vincent

St Vincent is an album that fully rewards with frequent spins.

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St Vincent St Vincent (Loma Vista /Republic) **** ⋆⋆⋆⋆

His estranged Talking Heads bandmates might now disagree, but working with David Byrne can clearly put a spring in your step. Annie Clark – aka St Vincent – was an acclaimed, intensely individual singer-songwriter before collaborating with Byrne on the jaunty 2012 album Love This Giant. The up-tempo continues on the Texan's fourth album; her first with major-label backing. Not that she has mellowed, Clark suggests her album is "a party record you could play at a funeral". The album's mix of dance beats and dark ideas would have resulted in an odd funeral – and a curious party, in truth. These 11 wildly varying tracks seem jarringly eccentric initially, hurtling in on waves of urban beats and electronic vibrations, while exploring atypical lyrical themes. "I thought you were like a dog," she tells an errant beau in the extraordinary, almost extraterrestrial Bring Me Your Loves. Only after a few listens are her compositional gifts fully revealed, as wonderfully catchy songs emerge from the cacophony like great sonic butterflies. Bold and eventually beautiful, this is a record that fully rewards frequent spins.