Last year, there were a lot of albums to write home about. From the passively triumphant return of Mazzy Star after a 17 year absence (they sound like they never went away, but that’s a really, really good thing) to the revelation that was Haim’s Days Are Gone, a debut album so good that I can only expect disappointment from whatever else they have to come, a hell of a lot of records gave me confidence that popular music is still as strong as it’s ever been. At the start of last year, the album I was most excited for was Frightened Rabbit’s Pedestrian Verse, which dropped in February and come release day, the deluxe edition arrived at my door. I was insanely happy and the album didn’t disappoint – it was great and I still love it as much as I did the first time I listened to it. This makes me cautiously optimistic about the album I’m most looking forward to hearing this year.
Save for her ill-advised and frankly bizarre collaboration with David Byrne on the baffling Love This Giant, Annie Clark’s musical output so far has been nothing short of fucking fantastic. Arguably one of the most sonically creative artists around with lyrics that are somehow simultaneously lucid and frighteningly unhinged, she makes music that transcends genre and almost makes itself hard to even describe without sounding as insane as she’s starting to look. Her fourth solo effort is scheduled for release in February and I am so excited that I might wee. A couple of tracks have already leaked and they promise a record just as sonically complex and conceptually abstract as ever, with titles like “Birth In Reverse” and “Digital Witness” setting the tone for a characteristically polysemous record, which is all I want from St. Vincent, simply because it’s what she’s been doing best since her first album entitled Marry Me which was released in 2007 to critical acclaim. Since then, 2009’s Actor and Strange Mercy, released in 2011 have endeared St. Vincent to countless fans and Strange Mercy in fact managed to reach #19 on the Billboard Hot 200, quite a feat for an artist who could hardly be described as mainstream. It’s safe to say I cannot wait for her new album and until it comes out I’ll be saturating myself in St. Vincent’s colourful, intricately shaped world of non sequiturs and guitar effects.
St. Vincent (self-titled) will be released on 24th February 2014 through Republic Records.