Friday, April 24th, 2009

Actor Out Of Work

Review of St Vincent's Actor

Photo By Annabel MerhanAnnabel MerhanMs Annie Clark – St Vincent – will release her second album Actor in a couple weeks on May 5, and while I’m a bit reluctant to invoke the “Disney-esque” adjective that so many other early reviews have, I must admit that it really is appropriate.

The way that Clark’s trilling voice delivers melodies that skip and soars overtop richly-appointed arrangements, you could imagine these songs soundtracking any animated Disney film (or all of them, since they’re pretty much identical). Of course, you’d have to work in a few scenes of fast-cut ultra-violence to accommodate the moments when her buzzsaw-toned, guitar-shredding interludes makes their appearances, but hey – that’s what the kids are into these days.

The combination of conventionally pretty and so-wonderfully-abrasive-they’re-pretty textures seem like they could get gimmicky, but Clark does it so naturally and guilelessly that you can’t imagine she’s doing it just to be contrary or to muck things up for the sake of muckery. This is actually how she hears things unfolding in her head, and we’re just fortunate to be able to share in the experience along with her. I quite liked St Vincent’s debut Marry Me, but with the way the follow-up is more focused without giving up the adventurousness or eccentricity that defined the debut, I think I’m already well on the way to liking record number two even more than the first.

Billboard talks to Clark about the creative process for Actor, while For Folk’s Sake had a phone interview with her earlier this week wherein they covered topics including the record’s striking cover photo, favourite current bands and her adventures on Twitter. St Vincent has live dates scattered throughout the Summer, but nothing that brings her up this way yet. Perhaps we’ll be able to welcome her to Toronto come Fall.

MP3: St Vincent – “The Strangers”
Video: St Vincent – “Actor Out Of Work”
Stream: St Vincent / Actor

Drowned In Sound and The Winnipeg Free Press have interviews with Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

Fazer talks to Emily Haines and Jimmy Shaw of Metric.

Alison Mosshart talks to Billboard about balancing her main gig as frontwoman for The Kills with her new project with Jack White, The Dead Weather. Mosshart was taken to hospital during a gig in Denver earlier this week but she’s alright and The Kills will still be at the Phoenix on May 7.

And the band touring with them, The Horrors, have just released a new video from their new record Primary Colours. Couldn’t have let it out a couple days ago to line up with my review of the record, eh? Metro has an interview with the band’s frontman, Faris Badwan.

Video: The Horrors – “Who Can Say”

Tracyanne Campbell of Camera Obscura lists off her favourite things for Pitchfork. See? Just because she so rarely smiles doesn’t mean she doesn’t like stuff. Camera Obscura are at Lee’s Palace on June 27.

NOW and The Boston Globe talk to Chairlift, in town tomorrow night for a show at the Phoenix.

Billboard discusses Romanian Names, out May 19, with John Vanderslice.

Blurt talks to Mark Olson.

NOW and The Minneapolis Star-Tribune profile M Ward, who has a show at the Phoenix on Monday night.

Robyn Hitchcock offers Paste his thoughts on The Decemberists. They’re at the Kool Haus on August 3.

Baeble Music has a video interview with Great Lake Swimmers, who have a show at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre tomorrow night.

Alejandro Escovedo returns to Toronto on June 16 for a show at Trinity-St Paul’s with Joseph Arthur.

By : Frank Yang at 8:19 am
Category: General

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RSS Feed for this post2 Responses.
  1. Frozen Atlantic says:

    frank, your link to the camera obscura article is broken. no idea where it is, because pitchfork’s search engine stinks.

  2. Frank Yang says:

    hmm, it was there this morning. Maybe they took it down for a reason? Dunno