Sliding safely between the female driven electro-radio cracks and landing smack dab in an atmosphere inhabited by Bjork and Portishead is St. Vincent, a quirky one-girl-combo of voice, instruments and aura belonging to 24-year-old Annie Clark, axe picker of both The Polyphonic Spree and Sufjan Steven's touring brigade. Marry Me is the debut anthology from cutie-pie Clark, although longtime Bowie key-tickler Mike Garson and Brian Teasley from Man or Astro-man do lend their experienced set of dude hands to the master mix.
Clark's presence is confident and regal like Queen Elizabeth waiving to an expanse of docile followers on top of a glass chariot. The young choralist/computerist's voice is syrupy and nectarous as it boldly guides the wandering instrumentation along a journey through miscellaneous noise like a blind animal in a dog whistle factory.
"Now Now" opens with the defiant exposition: "I'm not your mother's favorite dog / I'm not the carpet you walk on," which answers the question - "why the hell would a musician for two successful bands branch out and record her own piece of musical history. Girl's got angst built up in that pretty face, trickling out of her pores and onto a wax funded by Beggars Banquet.
"Marry Me" is the result of Carol Kane and Joanna Newsom drunking down on a nasty game of "quarters" in a spinning windmill on the state line of Whosville. "Paris Is Burning," although the title has been played out more than a Borat "That's Nice" t-shirt, is a feculent anthem which might piss off the new French prezzy Nicholas Sarkozy, far worse than those hellish paparazzi.
Marry Me isn't as gut wrenching as Mazzy Star or as groovy as CSS or even as poppy as the artful riot-grrrl Mary Timony and her band. I suppose that those who still care about the rehab inhabitant Amy Winehouse might be swooned off their crusty feet by the seductive sounds of St. Vincent. Clark's innocence is the prime component of this irresistible Lolita-recording. I do like the choice of the title for the album closer, "What Me Worry?" That kind of attitude wraps up this effort nicely. It feels as if this suffocating gasp of down tempo, instrumental-soul was a necessary production for young Clark, a void lacking in her backing duties with the Sufjan and the Spree which needed to see the light of day for the sake of this pixie's fermenting sanity.
"These Days" (live - DUMBO session)