Strange Mercy, Annie Clark’s 11-song John Congleton-produced followup to Actor, will be out this fall. They recorded the collection at Elmwood Studios in her pre-Manhattan hometown of Dallas, Texas. A press release notes that Strange Mercy finds St. Vincent “redefining the idea of the guitar hero, utilizing the instrument as a pointillist artist might wield a brush. Countless judiciously placed riffs and instrumental flares, each distinct and unique, cohere into grand tableaus.” Interesting. The song descriptions are of the same pitch:
On “Cruel,” she elicits punchy bursts like an R&B horn section. “Cheerleader” froths and boils, with deep and fuzzy guitars bubbling up to the surface, while “Surgeon” twirls about endlessly, Clark’s vocals dancing amid a blizzard of notes.
She’s joined on Strange Mercy by Grammy winner Bobby Sparks (mini Moog, clavinet, Arp, Wurlitzer), Midlake’s MacKenzie Smith (drums), Daniel Hart (violin), and Beck keyboardist/musical director Brian LeBarton, among others. It’ll be available 9/12 in the UK and 9/13 in the US via 4AD. Until then, here’s the cover of Big Black classic “Kerosene” Clark tore into at the Our Band Could Be Your Life concert a couple weeks ago:
[Photo by Tina Tyrell]