St Vincent

 

Strange Mercy 4AD***

Annie Clark isn't one to rest on her laurels. Although the Texan has already come in for serious praise, her creative mind is constantly pinging with new inventions, as previously displayed on the variance between her first two records. Strange Mercy,her third, is dissimilar to its predecessors, too, forgoing Actor's elaborate arrangements in favour of a simmering undercurrent of electronica and a predilection for raw, grimy guitar riffs. The constant modifications of tempo and style mean that Strange Mercyis hard to adjust to at times; it seems as if Clark is so intent on packing every idea in that the album's structure occasionally becomes unsound. Then again, tracks such as the jittery burr of Surgeonand the brilliant Champagnenudge St Vincent into the same bracket as Sufjan Stevens: often brilliant, customarily unpredictable, always innovative. See ilovestvincent.com

Download tracks: Surgeon, Champagne