5 Songs, 18 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

For anyone who's never known the otherworldly experience of St. Vincent in a live setting (or for those who can’t get enough), the good folks at 4AD had Annie Clark record a live session at Brooklyn's Shangri-La Studios. Along with a taut band featuring Toko Yasuda on Moog, drummer Matthew Johnson, and keyboardist Daniel Mintseris, Clark performs five arresting versions of her favorite selections from 2011’s Strange Mercy. Setting the tone with “Chloe in the Afternoon,” her guitar sounds noticeably dirtier than the one on the album version, but she also segues into clean tones that play with a sparkling liveliness. Of course it’s Clark’s enchanting vocal timbre that takes center stage here and throughout. She croons with a palpable ache on “Surgeon,” where synthy sweeps rub against the grain of proggy guitars. And in “Strange Mercy,” her voice sounds lighter and more fragile as Mintseris provides a beautifully warped ambience behind her. Her riveting staccato in “Cheerleader” and the slightly androgynous purr in “Year of the Tiger” both sound reminiscent of a young Polly Jean Harvey.

EDITORS’ NOTES

For anyone who's never known the otherworldly experience of St. Vincent in a live setting (or for those who can’t get enough), the good folks at 4AD had Annie Clark record a live session at Brooklyn's Shangri-La Studios. Along with a taut band featuring Toko Yasuda on Moog, drummer Matthew Johnson, and keyboardist Daniel Mintseris, Clark performs five arresting versions of her favorite selections from 2011’s Strange Mercy. Setting the tone with “Chloe in the Afternoon,” her guitar sounds noticeably dirtier than the one on the album version, but she also segues into clean tones that play with a sparkling liveliness. Of course it’s Clark’s enchanting vocal timbre that takes center stage here and throughout. She croons with a palpable ache on “Surgeon,” where synthy sweeps rub against the grain of proggy guitars. And in “Strange Mercy,” her voice sounds lighter and more fragile as Mintseris provides a beautifully warped ambience behind her. Her riveting staccato in “Cheerleader” and the slightly androgynous purr in “Year of the Tiger” both sound reminiscent of a young Polly Jean Harvey.

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