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St. Vincent: Daddy’s Home

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When St. Vincent, born Annie Clark, began her solo career she was a bit twee, very indie girl, and her music was not yet audacious. Today, she refers to that aesthetic as “asexual Pollyanna.” Working in 2010 on her third album, Strange Mercy, she embraced a poppier mode—while writing it, she sat down and transcribed all of Madonna’s first album. Sonically, their similarities are few, but both are aware of the importance of a pop persona, one flexible enough to morph along with the new influences and styles of each successive album. Clark’s first startling self-reinvention? She dyed her hair white. Since then, she’s become unleashed—her music traverses electronic, disco, punk, and psychedelic rock. Her latest album, her sixth, may be the most overtly personal. Daddy’s Home is inspired by her father’s 2019 release from prison, and it sees St. Vincent drawing from the 1970s—Stevie Wonder, Steely Dan, Sly and the Family Stone—and sporting a blonde bobbed wig that recalls, she says, the heroines of John Cassavetes. Speaking to The Guardian, which described Daddy’s Home as “disgustingly good,” Clark said that the album moves away from a jaundiced perspective, and instead empathizes with “flawed people just doing our best to get by.” —C.J.F.

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