St. Vincent’s sixth studio album “Daddy’s Home” came out in May, but the artist behind the stage name, Annie Clark, says it’s not quite finished yet.
Clark said in a recent phone call, “A record doesn’t really feel complete to me unless I’m actually playing songs for people and with people.” “Because you’ll see how the power of the crowd changes.
“You see, ‘Oh, they’re all singing in that part,'” he says. “You can find out in a real way which parts of the record are really landing for people.
“And it’s not something you can feel to set a record in the world and you know, some nice Instagram comments or some mean Instagram comments or whatever it is.”
The St. Vincent Hollywood Bowl headlined Friday, September 24, a week after the release of “The Nowhere In”, a satire on a fictional version of which he co-wrote and starred with the band Slitter-Kinney’s Carrie Brownstein and the TV show “Portlandia. . “
Clark says that until he is on stage in St. Vincent, until his music is shared directly with the audience, a new record remains a fleeting shadow, completely impossible to know.
“But then, when you get the show, everyone is bringing their own personal secret experiences with the music,” he says. “And similarly, really like sharing. Sharing those experiences with each other. Basically getting permission to weaken, stay open, and leave for an hour and a half. ”
His tour of New England began earlier this month; This is the first St. Vincent show since the epidemic without a short stop in New Orleans to celebrate the opening of a friend’s hotel.
“And man, it was so deeply gratifying,” Clark said. “I mean, I made the mistake of wearing a corduroy suit in New Orleans in June, and everyone was covered in sweat, but it was just such a relief.
“It’s an expulsion of all the crazy things we’ve gone through,” he said. “I don’t want to use the word‘ T ’excessively for injury, but we have suffered a strange, combined injury in the past, for more than a year.
“So yes, I’m looking forward to it. I’m looking forward to its epiphany side, and its alchemy side happens when people are together in one place. ”
Big ‘dad’ power
In “Daddy’s Home”, St. Vincent explores new words and themes inspired by everything from his love of horror funk and dirty spirits in 70’s analog rock to perhaps his most outspoken autobiographical song, which was in songs like the title track. Inspired by the release of his father from prison after spending time for tax evasion.
His confident swap to the tune, inspired by artists from David Bowie and Stevie Wonder to Steely Dan and Pink Floyd, also fits his broader concept of The Daddy, a transformation he described in a mock newspaper published with the album “Just Be Yourself and Very Very Your Own Skin. Comfortable. You know you have to go around with that BDE, Big Daddy Energy.
“I had the idea before I moved to Covid,” Clark said. “I’ve already given myself up to speaking in the harmonious and rhythmic language of‘ Daddy’s Home, ’70s notched things, and feelings and emotions.
“I think all the things I had on my previous record were more about toughness,” he said. “And it’s more about liquidity in every sense of it.”
Clark, who co-produced the album with Jack Antonoff, says the ideas and new directions were inspired by a variety of things.
“One, I felt like I wasn’t a good enough musician to get to that type of music so far,” he says. “I think it shows how much I respect the musician during Stilly Dan’s Stony Wonder era. It was a time when pop music was incredibly sophisticated. There just happened to be this cross-pollination in popular music that was really exciting.
Clark said his father’s release from prison in 2019 also focused on his music in the past.
“One of the stories on the album is that my dad is coming home from prison, and this is the music he loved and the music I somehow got to know him,” he says. “So for me, personally, it was this weird way of getting things in full circle and exploring who I am now.
“Exploring how things change and my journey to becoming a parent.”
Make a show
Like Bowie, who is a clear inspiration in his career, from St. Vincent’s album to album, Tour to Tour continues to resize. For “Daddy’s Home”, expect a completely new production with new costumes, lighting and stage visuals.
“Well, you’re talking to the former president of the High School Theater Club,” Clark says and laughs. “I mean, I like a show. I like it when a show is a show, you know? I want to give people an experience that they will never forget.
“They might love it, they might be distracted by it, they might hate it at the moment and then still think about it in a month. But I want to give people a show. ”
He and Antonoff played most of the instruments on the album, but for this tour, he will be backed by bands Down and Out Downtown, a group brought together by bassist and musical director Justin Meldal-Johnson, who filled it with a two-decade role with Beck.
“Everyone is such an incredible player, and this record needs a certain kind of vocabulary,” he said.
And while he’s playing a big part of “Daddy’s Home” on the first date of the tour, it still fills his nearly two-thirds set from his previous five albums.
“This special event, it’s really degrading,” Clark said. “I have a lot of material from different eras, so it can be emptied and ruin our journey from freak-show, Parliament Dance Party to Psychedelic Butoh.
“It really drives a kind of emotion.”
Actor to actor
“Actor,” says Clark, “many of St. Vincent’s 2009 songs released in 2009 were inspired by wine Disney movies and Technicolor classics, and his music video performances were often small movie gems.”
St. The Vincent hired his friend Carrie Brownstein to make a documentary about his tour, and “The Nowhere In” puts him in front of her and the center in a satirical / psychological thriller.
“I’m very surprised and thrilled that someone gave us, our money, to make a crazy picture of me, sure, but just about the identity and the problem when someone starts to believe in their myth and floats into outer space,” Clark says. “Or become eccentric in trying to hold on to a little idea about their stuff.”
Writing the script with Bronstein and preparing the film with him and director Bill Benz was so much fun that Clark said he forgot to think.
“I don’t know why I wasn’t afraid to do any acting,” he says. “It never occurred to me that I was really acting out what I was doing until I think the day before we started shooting.”
Even now, a film that does not present its character in a very desirable light, he is thrilled to see people.
“I don’t usually do things that make you like a pop star,” Clark said. “This is not the purpose of this film, and perhaps it is dangerous in this day and age. And that’s good.
“Theoretically we only have one life, why is it halved?” He speaks of both film and tour. “Let’s do something crazy that people won’t forget. I think the industry is considered dangerous. I think it’s supposed to be scary sometimes.
“It’s supposed to help us get to the top of our minds and retire, and should be a place where we can safely play with fire.”