A new St. Vincent album would be pretty nice right now, and presumably one is at least in the works. In the meantime, though, Annie Clark has given us yet another reworking of “New York,” the lead single from 2017’s MASSEDUCTION.
This one finds her teaming with Yoshiki, the drummer from X Japan. The original New York was a piano ballad that built into a pulsing symphonic club track. Despite Yoshiki’s percussive bona fides, this new version dials down the rhythm and amps up the orchestral swirl, surrounding Clark’s vocals with glissandos and layers of mournful strings. At a time when the pandemic has inspired a significant chunk of NYC’s population to flee the city, opening line “New York isn’t New York without you, love” hits different.
A statement from Clark: “It was an honor to work with the amazing Yoshiki on this new version of ‘New York’. Yoshiki’s arrangement added to the song in the way time or distance transform longtime friends or relationships: the original is still recognizable, but subtly and significantly altered.” And from Yoshiki: “As an artist, I admire how St. Vincent approaches music in an innovative and courageous way. Her music breaks the boundaries of genres, which is a mindset I can completely relate to. My band X Japan played the Coachella Festival in 2018 at the same time that St. Vincent performed, but at that time we didn’t meet. But this year, through mutual friends, we were introduced. In terms of ‘New York,’ it’s a great song to start with, and I’m grateful that she trusted me to fully rearrange the song with my classical approach. I hope St. Vincent’s fans enjoy it, and that my fans will too.”