St. Vincent is an artist that has garnered attention over the past years for her eclectic, off-kilter and all out experimental take on songwriting. Born Annie Erin Clark in Tulsa, Oklahoma, her homely American roots provided a grounding for a career that has seen her flourish into one of the most fearlessly progressive artists in the modern day era. It is easy to see (and hear) why her inspiration is drawn from the likes of David Bowie, The Talking Heads and Kate Bush to name just a few.
In a time of challenging political rhetoric and widespread international negativity, this album boldly titled MASSEDUCTION, brings a blast of poignant and sexually expressive music welcoming the garish, colourful and fluid of all genders, ethnicities and nationalities to come along for the ride. Her music and lyrics often border between the happy and raving mad, which is a theme not directly consistent with MASSEDUCTION necessarily, but when you combine the rather frantic tempo, dynamics and instrumentation that is pooled together across the record, you do feel that all rules (and inhibitions) were being thrown away without a second thought upon writing this new material.
Title track Masseduction and Sugarboy radiate an energy that is uncontainable from the get go. They set the loud and sickly sweet tone of this full-length album, and sling us straight in at the deep end with some boundary-breaking synth and punchy electronic drum patterns that you cannot help but dance along to. We then hit New York, which throws us off course a little as the album enters a soft, stripped back collection of tracks that display St. Vincent’s very raw talent for writing great songs with bags of character.
In summary, in listening to MASSEDUCTION first time round, the arrangement of so many elements and expansive sounds can feel inaccessible, but gives context to so much of what St. Vincent does and says in her music. Once you understand this, her latest effort is a great representation of her, and proves to be a recommendable album to anybody.