St. Vincent debuts new sound on "Masseduction"

Each song sends a different message, and each message is conveyed in a varied format. Clark is most successful in the creativity she uses to match her tone and style of singing, as well as her ability to match music to its context. (Courtesy/Twitter)

Releasing an album on Friday the 13th should have been a recipe for disaster but it seems not even superstition can touch Annie Clark, better known as St. Vincent. The musician released her fifth album “Masseduction” last Friday and since then, it has been everywhere.

St. Vincent has grown and changed a lot since the release of her first album “Marry Me.” Compared to her previous soft but lively electronic-pop rock ballads, “Masseduction” is loud and hard, but eye opening. Clark focuses on topic such as the obsession with excess in her LA environment, societal expectations, depression, sex and guilt .

Each song sends a different message, and each message is conveyed in a varied format. Clark is most successful in the creativity she uses to match her tone and style of singing, as well as her ability to match music to its context. It is a theme throughout the entire album, which is why each song sounds so drastically different than the next. Despite the variety in styles and topic, the album does not sound as if it is doing too much at once. “Masseduction” and “Pills” are two songs that display that prowess very well.

In the track “Masseduction” Clark repeats, “I can’t turn off what turns me on” in a nearly orgasmic falsetto. The raunchy lyrics are backed by synth instruments and Clark’s ever-present electric guitar. At some point in the song, the phrase, “masseduction, I can’t turn off what turns me on” turns into “massdestruction, I hold you like a weapon,” which perfectly captures what Clark said in a Facebook press conference about the inspiration for the album. When asked where the name of the album came from, she said the title is “a little play on words. Mass seduction, seduction of masses, my seduction. Am I being seduced, or am I the seducer?” She alternates between being controlled and being the one in control, which explains the change of words in the chorus.

In the song “Pills,” the album dives deeper into the darker side of her experiences. Clark addresses the anxiety and depression that the constant activity in her career caused. “Pills” is the mantra that describes how she got through it. The chorus is sang by model Cara Delevingne. She is also Clark’s ex-girlfriend. Delevingne sings “Pills to wake, pills to sleep/Pills, pills, pills every day of the week/Pills to walk, pills to think/Pills, pills, pills for the family,” in a sweet but frantic manner, which was very authentic. If you can’t imagine the “sweet but frantic” part, picture the Oompa Loompas from “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” singing everytime a kid almost died. In short, a dark topic shrouded in peppy sounds.

On this album, the listener got to hear more of Clark than they ever have before. Yes, there have been plenty of ballads about her love life in her other albums, but nothing is deeper than when an artist provides a peephole into the troubles and darkness inside them as well.


Kanthalina Andreus is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at kanthalina.andreus@uconn.edu.