Monday, May 20, 2013

Numbered List: Top 15 Favorite St. Vincent Songs

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     With all of the excitement building around the forthcoming release of Kanye West’s “Yeezus”, and amidst all of the funny as fuck internet memes regarding Miguel’s leap of faith turned guillotine leg drop at the BBMA’s, I’m chillin here, bringing you strange people something immensely… irrelevant.

     Before you say a word, hear me out… I, the killer of seeds, live each day, whole heartedly infatuated with the music of multi-talented musician Annie Clark. I’m a huge St. Vincent fan, and this is no secret {I’ve stated this a few times way back and just recently as well. That shit is way old}. Throughout the past week or so, I’ve been on a power trip just bumping her three solo albums, which are all, in their own right, incredible projects, each of them respectively touching on a unique sonic and lyrical facet that this girl has to offer. Never short of her elegant ways, Annie Clark as St. Vincent is a beast, and I can’t help but consider her an icon. What’s not to love in those doe eyes and curls?

     Cutting to the chase here, I’m back on my numbered list sheeit, in hopes that you will take a look at what I, at the moment, consider to be my Top 15 Favorite St. Vincent Songs, because 10 was not nearly enough to make me, at least, content with living. Drum roll…:



15. Paris Is Burning
Topping off my list is a song from Annie’s 2007 debut album “Marry Me”. "Paris Is Burning" boasts eerie, prideful production that wears its title well. As Annie sings, she references a fallen Paris whose residents have nothing left to do but revolt and oddly enough, dance in the firey blaze that the city has become. I love the intricacies within the song. Stellar.

14. Neutered Fruit
There’s some incredible funk elements screaming out of St. Vincent’s guitar on “Strange Mercy”, her third and latest solo LP. “Neutered Fruit”, which makes use of some very ethereal vocals and slick electric guitar licks is definitely a gem to the albums credit. The steady, cool chick mellow also happens to change up at points to keep the track just as refreshing as it should be.

13. Marry Me
The titular song of St. Vincent’s 2007 release, is debatably one of her most popular. It’s like a theme for the hopeless romantics, who would be happy just to be in the presence of their prospect. The cute piano composition suits Annie well as she humbly requests marriage from her hopeful paramour simply named "John". Come’on John, it’s just marriage.

12. Year Of The Tiger
This is a fight song to me, but not in the way you might think. The song was actually written about a depression Annie went through in 2010 aka, The Year Of The Tiger according to the Chinese calender. The lyrics, which at the jump, instill Annie’s fierce nature within the listener, cryptically detail the experience as well as render Annie a fighter of struggles. Between the ill drums, the mysterious nature behind the song and those guitar riffs, I was sold on this song almost instantly.

11. The Strangers
Honestly, the first time I heard this song, it was sampled in KiD CuDi’s "Maniac". Coincidentally, the sample within the song was actually the driving force behind it, so much so, that it spoke to me even before knowing anything about St. Vincent herself. Regardless, "The Strangers", the introductory track to her sophomore classic “Actor” is a great lead for the album it was placed on. Gently gliding chord progressions the resemble fairy tale imagery sync up more than well with the smooth vocals Annie croons. Such a spacey song.

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10. All My Stars Aligned
Oh man. This joint right here is a beast. The elegance of Annie’s lyricism tends to show its colors heavily over tender production as such. This piano brandishing ballad is just too classy to ignore, as it is slightly tragic. Heart string tugging instrumentation blends well with heart break lyrics, possibly touching on the tragedy of a lost love.

9. Dilettante
"Dilettante" is quite cryptic, and that style of lyricism is why I like St. Vincent so much. She leaves a lot to interpretation, without compromising a voice. "Dilettante", having an explanation, is an ode to NYC, according to the woman herself. To someone who aspires to move to a big city opposed living in one currently, what I take from this song is the love hate relationship with my own hometown, something that I think we all suffer from {we wanna leave and spread our wings, but it’s home}. The song, which consists mostly of drum and bass, feels as though this is the theme that should soundtrack a parade, as inebriated New Yorkers hoist their beer mugs, hold a friends shoulder and sing along, happily drunk!

8. Cruel
Crueeeeel. Yeaaaaa. This is such a bouncy song. The main guitar riff is catchy and engaging. The lyrics are quotable and find themselves becoming miniature parables in the process. Not to mention the angelic vocals the open the track, with the words, “bodies, can’t you see what everybody wants from you” tattooed across the entry. Melodic tendencies and a relentless pace of musical quality bind this thing together with a tight, yet flexible rope.

7. Laughing With A Mouth Of Blood
This is THE first song I had heard in full by St. Vincent. I heard, and it was GOOOD. The funny thing is, I think it was all by accident… Anyhow, the song strongly roots itself in flexible chord progression and vocal techniques. During the chorus, Annie masters this strange, yet engaging emphasis on certain syllables. And the bridge? Crack, homie.

6. Surgeon
Nothing but guitar riffs man. I can listen to the portion of "Surgeon" that precedes the outro on an endless loop, forever and a day. The song as a whole is very smokey, misty as Annie effortlessly speaks through the fog. The mist is only broken during the outro of this song in which brilliant guitars caterwaul through a messy, brain blistering scene. Bravo.

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5. The Bed
Probably the most tragic of songs from Annie’s catalog, "The Bed" is a grim narration of what can be perceived as the accidental death of a imaginative child by way of her fathers gun… Then again, I could be wrong {like I said, open to interpretation, maaaayne}. Either way, the soft footsteps conveyed in the music during the verses which become haunting vocals canvasing the lyrics “Stop right where you can/we need a chalk outline if you can/put your hands where we can see them, please”. Still gets me.

4. Strange Mercy
For a while, this was the only track I had heard off of the album that shares the songs name. I was stuck on this song for a few months before I finally got around to hearing the album. I don’y know. This song just hits me with all the feels. Real talk. It resembles the theme of a caretaker, protecting her young in a dangerous world. As soon as that fittingly strange guitar solo hits, I get lost in an acid based world and.can’t come up. The drum pattern is quite unique as well, but leave the song just at the right point as Annie approaches the final verse of the song. Perfect.

3. What Me Worry?
Just as she does with “All My Stars Aligned”, St. Vincent paints a portrait of elegance, romance and a fine wine-like composition, music and lyrics in all with this “Marry Me” outro. This song possesses the lyrics of a genius, seemingly with references to The Wizard Of Oz and so many smoothly waxed quotables that round up to some original aphorisms. Her choice in words astounds me, as the incredible guitar talks just enough, allowing Annie to speak prominently, and oh man, does this work out for the best.

2. The Party
Such a pretty song. Seemingly a one sided conversation at the end of a festive night. As crazy as it sounds, in this, Annie does a wonderful job making the listener feel as though they are wherever they want to be. The best part is that this joint is just as engaging with each change up as it is when it moves in a steady direction. All piano and drums, the instrumentation sounds as if it is crying, which works extremely well when Annie croons during a sick change in timing. My lawd!

1. Human Racing
I don’t think I have ever heard anything like this in my life. Between the horns that play out instead of a chorus, the witty lyrics that move well from character to character, and the change in musical timing, this track never lets up. It’s an.insightful path, an adventure, much like any other, that instills values in the adventurer. I never get tired of this track, and I don’t think I ever will. Instant classic in my eyes.

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Unfortunately, the one crazy magical track that just missed this list was "Land Mines". As hard as it was to keep most of the songs St. Vincent has made off of this list, I think this spoke decently well for how I view the magnificent artists discography. With that said, another list complete, another headache alive in my brain. At least my thoughts are organized. God, I love lists man.

With looooove,
     - De` Von



Here’s the ill video for St. Vincent’s “Cruel” Below, as well as the song “Human Racing”. Enjoy!




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Notes

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