Photo by Ben Kaye
St. Vincent had a relatively quiet 2016 — with “relatively” being defined as dressing up as a toilet, working on film soundtracks, doing commercials for Apple Music and the NFL, and making her directorial debut. All that “down time” gave the acclaimed indie guitarist a chance to approach her follow-up to 2014’s self-titled LP with fresh perspective, something which she says has lead to a “real sea change” in her sound. The yet-untitled effort is expected this spring, and Annie Clark intends to use it to make a powerful statement.
“I’ve been able to step back and reflect and not just be in the tour, record, tour, record cycle that I’ve been in for about 10 years,” Clark said of the new album in an interview with Guitar World. “I think it’ll be the deepest, boldest work I’ve ever done. I feel the playing field is really open for creative people to do whatever you want, and that risk will be rewarded—especially now that we have such high stakes from a political and geo-political standpoint. The personal is political and therefore the political can’t help but influence the art. And only music that has something pretty real to say is gonna cut the mustard.”
Clark also used her appearance on the Guitar World cover to say something “pretty real.” Making her “own absurdist comment” on the magazine’s history of using scantily clad women to advertise its Buyer’s Guide issue, Clark appeared on the cover in a bikini T-shirt with her signature Ernie Ball guitar strapped across her body. You can see a comparison between her cover and a more typical example of a female-featured image below; the full cover and more of the interview can be found here (via Pitchfork).