Jeff Moody

Uneasy Listening From The Future

By - Sep 17th, 2011 04:00 am

I don’t know shit about French film but I do know shit about H.G. Wells cuz I read him (lots!) when I was a younger person and what I know is this: H. G. Wells didn’t play a note but he still has something in common with St. Vincent and that is THE FUTURE.

He wrote about it, and St. Vincent, she’s from it.

You think I’m joking and you, obviously, have not been listening to Annie Clark, (aka St. Vincent) who doesn’t have as cool a name as Diamanda Galas but is just as sinister. Annie Clark unleashes waves of plangent electromagnetic energy that interrupts the reflex arc which is to say, her music is nerve-wracking and is not of this time or even of this world. That’s her genius. More often than not in a Clark composition, there is an underlying anxiety lurking ghost-like in the periphery. In the title track, for example, the track is built around Clark’s plush, lullaby voice, but the rhythmic flow conveys a feeling of finiteness. Death, even.

What you noise-freeks don’t want to miss is the critical-mass moment during “Northern Lights” (as referenced in the strip this week) where Clark voice sounds as if it’s being sucked into a black hole and then merges with what sounds like a satellite transmission gone completely unhinged, lacerating everything within earshot.

Strange Mercy is subdued, beautiful, often creepy, and ahead of most everything else being made, sound wise.

Leave a Reply

You must be an Urban Milwaukee member to leave a comment. Membership, which includes a host of perks, including an ad-free website, tickets to marquee events like Summerfest, the Wisconsin State Fair and the Florentine Opera, a better photo browser and access to members-only, behind-the-scenes tours, starts at $9/month. Learn more.

Join now and cancel anytime.

If you are an existing member, sign-in to leave a comment.

Have questions? Need to report an error? Contact Us