St. Vincent Discusses New Album Daddy’s Home: “It’s The Sound Of Being Down And Out Downtown In New York, 1973”
Late last year, St. Vincent said that she was planning on releasing a new LP in 2021. And this week, photos of ’70s-inspired album adverts for a record called Daddy’s Home surfaced online. Lead single “Pay Your Way In Pain,” produced by Jack Antonoff, is reportedly arriving next Friday. And although all the details, including the title, remain unconfirmed, Annie Clark discusses the new album in today’s inaugural issue of the weekly newsletter The New Cue.
“I would say it’s the sound of being down and out Downtown in New York, 1973. Glamour that hasn’t slept for three days,” Clark says when asked to describe the record. “In hindsight, I realized that the Masseduction and tour was so incredibly strict, whether it was the outfits I was wearing that literally constricted me, to the show being tight and the music being angular and rigid. When I wrapped that, I was like ‘oh, I just want things that are fluid and wiggly and I want this music to look like a Cassavetes film’. I wanted it to be warm tones and not really distorted, to tell these stories of flawed people being flawed and doing the best they can. Which is kind of what my life is.”
“I went back to these records that I probably listened to more in my life than at any other time,” Clark continues. “Music made in New York from 1971-76, typically post-flower child, kick the hippie idealism out of it, America’s in a recession but pre-disco, the sort of gritty, raw, wiggly nihilistic part of that. It’s not a glamorous time, there’s a lot of dirt under the fingernails. It was really about feel and vibe but with song and stories.”
Clark also talks a little bit about working with Jack Antonoff, who co-produced Masseduction, again. “I started writing these songs and took a couple to Jack Antonoff,” she recalls. “I was in Electric Lady Studios in New York and wanted to do this sleazy, grimy record and Jack was fully on board. He whipped out some great Wurlitzer playing, super funky, then he’d get on the drums and do totally the right vibe. And then he was playing this fucking awesome bass, ripping it … It was cool to get to see Jack bust out these chops. And same here, I actually have some deep understanding of harmony that I keep to myself most of the time but here I bust it out.”
And although she stops just short of actually confirming that the album is indeed called Daddy’s Home, Clark does get into the title. “So the nuts and bolts of it is like, my dad got out of prison in 2019. He’d been in for 10 years,” she explains. “My first song for it was a story about when I used to go visit him and I would sign crumpled-up Target receipts somebody had left in the visitation room. And, of course, it’s incredibly sad, but it’s also incredibly absurd so the whole family has found a way to laugh about it. So that was the impetus, I guess.”