Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Worth A Listen: St. Vincent – "The Strangers"

Here’s a little fact I like to repeat when I contemplate the exploding music business as the world simmers in the Digital Age: in the year 2000, 65,000 music albums were released world-wide. In 2008, this same figure had multiplied to 750,000. You can see now why being unique in the ever-growing, ever-changing world of music or even within your own genre is increasingly difficult, but also increasingly important: it’s called the music business, after all, and you’ve gotta move albums if you want to keep your head above water.

Luckily for Annie Clark (a.k.a. St. Vincent), she does not have to worry about accusations of imitation. If I had to make a comparison, I would put her in the same sphere as The Fiery Furnaces, but that is a huge sphere, as both artists don’t seem content to be confined to a single genre. Take “The Strangers” alone for example: while firmly rooted in bouncy pop, there are also backing vocals reminiscent of a 1940’s radio jingle, electronic flourishes a-plenty, crunchy guitar, cool vocal effects/layering - a whole gamut of sounds is incorporated here, and to great effect. I suggest you listen to/download “The Strangers” below, which appears on her sophomore album Actor, due out on May 5th and available for pre-order here. My prediction/hope is that this album won’t get lost in the shuffle of this year’s 749,999+ other releases. Happy listening!

The Strangers (download)

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