ARTIST / BAND: St. Vincent
MP3s: The Strangers
FILE UNDER: Indie / Concrete / Zouk
INFO: Actor, St. Vincent’s beguiling, sophisticated new record, takes that debut’s ambition as its starting point and never looks back. The arrangements are more masterful, the songwriting grander, the performances ever more confident and inspired. Clark developed an idiosyncratic writing process for Actor, immersing herself in some of her favorite films—Badlands, Pierrot le Fou, The Wizard of Oz, Stardust Memories, Sleeping Beauty—and beginning each song as a secret film score, then slowly giving it independence as its structure and lyrics came fully into focus. The resulting eleven tracks are as cinematic as pop songs can be, but the movie is a private one, revealing its storyline in hushed, cunning couplets and cascades of scathing guitar.