St. Vincent

Actor (4AD)

Phases & Stages

St. Vincent

Actor (4AD)

Over smoky piano standout "The Party," Annie Clark purrs: "I lick the ice cube from your empty glass. Oh, we stayed much too late, 'til they're cleaning the ashtrays." Meanwhile, she keeps an "eye on the exit sign, steady now." As on her 2007 debut, Marry Me, the former Texan is looking for a way out of her song, though she makes interesting conversation while there. Her second album is less precious, something attributed to either maturity or a better grasp of the script. Opener "The Strangers" gathers black cloud cover, following Clark through swatches of electronic colors until she finally lets her guitar do the screaming. Smooth jam "Laughing With a Mouth of Blood" disorients over dreamy instrumentation ("Just like an amnesiac, trying to get my senses back"), a pairing that informs much of Actor. The 1980s electro-thump of "Actor Out of Work" and "Marrow" beef up the disc's more domestic fare, the latter evoking Prince. A few songs could slim down, but the star gets in and out of her dream sequences seamlessly, already thinking of her next line.


A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More St. Vincent
The compassion of St. Vincent

Abby Johnston, Oct. 10, 2014

ACL Fest 2014 Interviews
St. Vincent
5:15pm, RetailMeNot stage

Abby Johnston, Oct. 3, 2014

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
X: The Godless Void and Other Stories (Record Review)

Alejandra Ramirez, Feb. 21, 2020

Texas Platters
Daniel Johnston
Chicago 2017 (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Feb. 21, 2020

More by Audra Schroeder
SXSW Interactive Conference Quick Cuts
The Signal & the Noise
Statistician Nate Silver on more data, more problems

March 15, 2013

SXSW Film Reviews: 'Kiss of the Damned'
Daily Reviews and Interviews

March 15, 2013


St. Vincent

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle