As St. Vincent, Annie Clark has had a special allure for years now, more aloof resident of Andy Warhol’s Factory than present-day indie-rock alt-star. She’s managed to pull off changing her style record-to-record, such as going full-on electronic with 2017’s MASSEDUCTION (QRO review) – then delivering a stripped remix of it that stands on its own in the following year’s MassEducation (QRO review). Now St. Annie dives into the dirty, tragic, sly funk of the seventies with Daddy’s Home – and delivers, once again.
Yes, Home is another sonic shift, but done so well. Opener/single “Pay Your Way In Pain” (QRO review) is a dirty funk earworm, while “Down” is truly killer F-U-N-K. Clark’s seductive ways are in full bloom on tracks such as the slow “The Laughing Man” and torch piece “My Baby Wants a Baby”. There’s also a distinct knowing nature to the records with songs like the title track and “…At the Holiday Party”, but also some softer seventies psych in “The Melting of the Sun” and the moving “Somebody Like Me”.
Artistic left turns can be frustrating, your favorite act not giving you what you want, even seemingly above the concerns of mere fans (Clark has a hesitance to give interviews; QRO hasn’t been able to get one since her first record back in 2007 – QRO interview). And sometimes it feels a bit ‘for show,’ putting on a costume for this album that they’ll put away for the next. But that’s how David Bowie did it, each time conquering the art field he set out to. Okay, Annie Clark isn’t Bowie (literally no one is…), but she is mastering making great, truly new records, each time out.