St Vincent: Strange Mercy – review

(4AD)

Texan Annie Clark's third album is a departure of sorts from 2007's Marry Me and 2009's Actor. The strings and woodwind have been turned down in favour of a harder sound, dominated by off-kilter drums and queasy synths, with Clark's electric guitar filling the gaps with intricate runs, riffs and fills. The modulations and switches in pace remain as bold as ever, and Clark has a knack for memorable melody and a winning voice with shades of Kate Bush and Leslie Feist. I like the chorus of "Cheerleader", the synth-pop feel of "Cruel" and the way in which tracks such as "Surgeon" and "Neutered Fruit" build to fierce intensity.

Contributor

Molloy Woodcraft

The GuardianTramp

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