Day 186: St. Vincent – Actor

2 Sep

Actor Out of Work

St. Vincent is Annie Clark’s project; there’s no doubt about that.  You get that impression before you even press play on Actor, just by looking at that cover.  Wow.  It’s almost a little scary, if not a bit self-indulgent.

As obnoxious as that cover may be, it is a great indicator of the record that it’s advertising.  Every track revolves around Clark’s voice, which is worthy of being a centerpiece.  She has a unique sound—it’s calming and comforting, but capable of expressing anger and frustration. Most importantly, it sounds pretty cool.

The first thing that comes to mind after listening to Actor for a few minutes is Sufjan Stevens.  Clark’s baroque-pop strings and sensitive-rock guitar riffs scream Illinois, while the beats and darker synths often shout The Age of Adz.  The soft and soothing voice that hovers above every song is the icing on this analogy cake — this is what Sufjan would sound like if he were a she.  Please, no smart-alecky comments from his haters about the possibility of that already being true.

A little research (read as: looking up the St. Vincent article on Wikipedia) revealed that Clark did in fact tour with Sufjan as a member of his band.  Psychic I am.

Don’t doubt Actor for a minute, it is fully capable of holding it’s own as a record.  Clark’s vocals really are great, and it’s amazing that she can pack in as much emotion as she does without much change in tone.  Look out for Ms. Clark, this stuff really is capable of making some noise on the charts.

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