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St. Vincent – Bad Believer – Review


What a year 2014 was for the inimitable Annie Clark aka St. Vincent; the ex-Polyphonic Spree and Sufjan Stevens guitarist has, since her 2007 solo debut Marry Me, carved out a real niche for herself as the kooky one with the weird hair who’s awesome at guitar. She is so much more than that, though. She really is an incredibly talented, innovative guitar player (she studied at Berkeley College of Music y’know?) and couple that mammoth six string aptitude with her stylistic schizophrenia and bamboozling lyrical prowess and you have one hell of a musician.

Her latest self-titled album was named on innumerable publications’ Best of 2014 lists and now the Queen of Idiosyncrasy is back with a new track entitled “Bad Believer”.

The song itself retains much of the sonic intricacy of last year’s St. Vincent, with out of this world guitar sounds and a vocal melody which somewhat makes way to the stellar guitar riffage in the verse but really comes into its own in the chorus, turning into a hook strong enough to catch Jaws himself. (Jaws was a male shark, right? Well, whatever…) The chorus refrain is reduced to almost a whisper just before the final chorus and abrupt outro, lending this song a particularly hurried feel which works wonderfully with the brilliant energy it encompasses. Perhaps a little too similar to the material we were treated to on her latest and greatest album (see: Digital Witness, Rattlesnake or Bring Me Your Loves), “Bad Believer” still teases more brilliant, enigmatic work from this truly special artist in 2015.

R Allden

Editor of LLR since 2005

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