After last year’s highly creative and classy collaboration with David Byrne, baroque pop songstress St. Vincent (nee Annie Clark) is back with a new blonde ‘do, an Ingenuity Award from the Smithsonian (for her creative approach to the performing arts), and a new self-titled album in the works. This week, she teased us with a new single, “Birth In Reverse,” from the upcoming record.
It’s got to say something when you’re barely in your 30s, and you’ve got the Smithsonian featuring you, not to mention pundits and critics parsing your work to understand the dichotomy between method and madness in your music. I like to keep it simple: the thing I love most about this girl is that you never know what sound you’re going to hear next. Clark has this ability to take the most diverse and unexpected sounds and craft them into a song that is highly experimental yet somehow stays with you. She may be an acquired taste for some, but in my view, she’s a true artist.
“Birth In Reverse” is surprisingly mainstream-ish for St. Vincent, driven by a steady pop beat, electric guitars and a distorted bass that disguises at times whether it is a synth or an effected guitar. What causes it to land left of center, though, is Clark’s vocal delivery, which lends an eerie, monster-mashy feel to the whole thing. “I wanted to make a party record you could play at a funeral,” she said of the upcoming record. I think that description fits. I like it a lot.
Check out the song below and see what you think. St. Vincent releases on Feb. 25, 2014.