St. Vincent’s stunningly flavorful new side
With a strong psychedelic ‘70s flavor, St. Vincent seduces the ears with her sixth studio album titled Daddy’s Home. For this record, St. Vincent has unwound her angular and restrictive image for a more free-flowing experimental tone that tickles the nostalgic section of the brain with the usage of ‘70s funk, soul, with a touch of jazz. The album is filled with impressive soundscapes sprinkled with all kinds of tones and sounds perfectly blended with her signature aromatic vocals.
Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Annie Clark, professionally known as St. Vincent, began her career as part of The Polyphonic Spree, a choral rock band based out of Dallas. She then began to tour as a part of Sufjan Stevens’s touring band and eventually created her own band in 2006. St. Vincent currently has five studio albums under her belt, with Marry Me being her debut from 2007, Actor from 2009, which led her to be the first solo female artist to win the Grammy for Best Alternative Album in 20 years. After those came Strange Mercy, St. Vincent, and Masseducation, which brings Daddy’s Home as her sixth album.
The title track, “Daddy’s Home,” is titled about her father’s release from prison. Reminiscing about the last visits to her father in prison, she sings about the fame she gained among the other inmates and their families. The song is a chaotic yet blissful blend of groovy funk and jazz with a touch of blues. There are elements of Prince with a mix of Steely Dan that playfully dance together with her own flavored blend of all the different tones.
“Pay Your Way In Pain” is a highlighted single off the record that easily has the best intro to any song on the album. Starting as a fun old-school saloon piano quickly turns into an ‘80s synth that almost fools the ear into thinking it is the first few notes of “Sweet Dreams” by the Eurythmics. While listening to this song, a few similarities are bridged between this and “Everybody Knows” by Kimbra, though one should not be surprised as John Congleton, who produced Kimbra, also produced St. Vincent in the past. Again, St. Vincent has created her own spice as she seamlessly blends ‘70s funk with a modern-day experimental electric tone.
“Down And Out Downtown” is the perfect “walk of shame” song that most listeners can relate to. Lyrics sing, “Last night heels/ on the morning train,” painting the picture of a long night and performing the ever famous walk of shame on the way home, trying to remember the night before. Filling in the post hook breakdowns is a delicious sitar, which is a beautiful international flavor that plays so well with the soul drums, funky, jazzy suitcase electric piano and glossy guitar.
As many influences on the record were in part due to her father’s vinyl collection, the three-part song “Humming (Interlude 1),” “Humming (Interlude 2)” and Humming (Interlude 3)” resemble the sounds of old warped vinyl. Though these songs are short and sweet, they are beautiful breaks within the vastness of the record that allow moments of reprieve. These three songs are both stunningly beautiful and vastly creepy all at the same time. “Humming (Interlude 2)” is especially eerie as the song builds and rises with a dark warped sound that makes the hair stand up a bit. “Humming (Interlude 3)” beautifully brings the album to a close, leaving off a sense of comfort within her soothing vinyl hums.
Daddy’s Home shows St. Vincent’s versatility within her music-making. With so many elements blended together, she still keeps her signature tone and poise throughout. The album is a new side of St. Vincent that loosens up and has some extra fun.