There’s a new St Vincent album on the way - to paraphrase Spandau Ballet, we know this much is true. Though there’s not been any official announcement bobbins just yet, Annie Clark’s going off on a huge Fear the Future world tour. She’s also released a new song called ‘New York,’ which has been kicking around in various forms over the last year at her few live appearances. It all certainly whiffs of a new record, doesn’t it?
It’s been a busy few years for St Vinny. ‘St Vincent’ took Annie Clark soaring to stratospheric heights, and around the world multiple times to shred guitar. In between all that touring, hosting radio shows, stepping in as an emergency waitress at her sister’s Mexican restaurant, and subsequently upsetting burrito fans worldwide with her scandalous preference towards tacos, she hasn’t had a whole lot of time, but now her new album looks to be finished. Though we can’t forecast the release date of the follow-up - we’re not psychic, sorry - we’ve done our best to piece together what to expect all the same.
We’ve got your backs, dear readers. Just call us Nancy Drew, because we’ve been investigating. Piecing together various song snippets, in the studio snaps, and footage of Annie Clark dressed up as an actual toilet, here’s our progress report.
First up, it would appear St Vincent’s been taking a lot of very urgent phone calls…
She’s been in the studio with Sounwave
Back in March last year, Sounwave posted a snapchat from his studio, with a certain Annie Clark clearly visible in the recording booth. The Compton-born producer is one quarter of Top Dawg Entertainment’s in-house Digi+Phonics production team, and manned the decks for majority of Kendrick Lamar’s ‘To Pimp a Butterfly,’ as well as a handful of tracks on ‘good kid, m.A.A.d city’. He’s also worked with ScHoolboy Q and Jay Rock as of late.
Annie Clark first teamed up with Soundwave in February 2016 for her cover of Rolling Stones ‘Emotional Rescue’ for the Luca Guadagnino film, ‘A Bigger Splash’. This picture - sound the potential ongoing collaboration klaxon - was taken a month later! It’s also not a huge leap of imagination to suggest that St Vincent might’ve reached out to Sounwave because of his track record with TDE - she previously called ‘To Pimp a Butterfly’ a “staggering work of genius”. She’s also been seen out and about wearing a “bitch don’t kill my vibe” t-shirt, too. Who knows if they’re continuing to work together on her new album stuff, in other words.
It’d certainly be a major switch in direction for St Vinny if she has been working on material for her next album with a completely new producer; up until now, she’s only ever worked with her go-to John Congleton since her second album ‘Actor’ back in 2009.
She’s been playing ‘New York’ live, and it’s anything but crap
St Vincent has played precious few live shows since winding up the ‘St Vincent’ tour - a promising nugget of information, which ties in very well with her rigorous daily routine when she’s working on a new album. “The way that I like to write,” Annie Clark told DIY in a cover feature in 2014, “is where I’ll wake up in the morning, work from 10 til 7 or something, and then go drink tequila with my friends at night.” In other words - she doesn’t really have time to play live shows with all that routine going on.
At the handful of shows she has played since, St Vincent added a brand new song to her set. She later released ‘New York’ as a proper single - sans album announcement - with a brand new visual direction involving lots of pink PVC. Listen to it here, or check out Annie performing said track at Le Poisson Rouge, while dressed as a giant purple toilet. Because, of course. ”You’re the only motherfucker in the city who can stand me,” she sings over plaintive piano-pounds.
Feel the Byrne
In 2015, St Vincent reunited with her pal David Byrne to play at his Contemporary Color event in Brooklyn, and performed a richly orchestral, brass-drenched song called ‘Everyone You Know will Go Away’. As experimental as you’d expect from St Vincent, It’s the second brand new piece of music we’ve heard from Annie Clark since she released her self-titled album three years ago. Though it’s likely a piece she wrote specifically for her ‘Who’ album collaborator rather than new album material, the themes of the song - which hint towards loss, alienation, darkness, and being alone - are strikingly similar to that of ‘New York’ (“New York isn’t New York without you, love…”).