Label: Loma Vista Recordings
Released: 14th May 2021
Is there any other artist that radiates an energy as powerful as St Vincent? There’s the beat perfect live shows and power play interviews, the slyness and constant reinvention which, combined with a parade of top-level records, solidifies into a musical force to be reckoned with.
Her sixth studio album, ‘Daddy’s Home’ broadcasts this clear message; Annie Clark is in control. Despite an emotionally tangled inspiration – the release of Annie’s father from prison after nine years, and the rippling effects of his incarceration – the record keeps an even keel, carefully balanced between openness and detachment. The title track shows the album’s influences writ large, a brassy 70s number that brings to mind conversation pits and impossibly cool Hollywood parties where everyone is wearing flares. ‘Daddy’s Home’ deals with the more absurd elements of Annie’s life while her father was incarcerated, as she recounts signing autographs in the prison’s visiting room. In another artist’s rendering, these experiences might seem at odds with the sleekness of the record, but St Vincent has long since figured out how to marry the dark with the shiny. ‘Daddy’s Home’ is infused with a kind of dirty glamour – or, as St Vincent put it in an early statement, “glamour that’s been up for three days straight.” The brief, syrupy tribute to Andy Warhol Factory muse Candy Darling – which, incidentally, is titled ‘Candy Darling’ – encapsulates that particular brand of grimy New York glitz, while ‘Down and Out Downtown’ follows St Vincent back from uptown wearing last night’s heels, her arcing riffs and floating vocals summoning the hazy, sticky joy of a sunrise trek home.
‘Daddy’s Home’ draws on the style of the records Annie Clark’s father introduced her to growing up, and as a result the sound is somewhat less biting than some of her previous work, even as the lyrics retain their typical edge. But the sepia tone works for the record’s sense of tarnished glamour, and manages not to tip over into on-the-nose nostalgia. Six records in, St Vincent is still reinventing.