In three albums as St. Vincent, plus the 2012 David Byrne collaboration Love This Giant, Annie Clark has proven adept at writing rock songs that flirt with the tense and uneasy. Her streak continues on St. Vincent, a new album replete with dissonances and distortions that make even its prettiest melodies read as disturbing.
"I just do that because that feels very natural, and that's what's going on in my brain, so of course that would manifest itself in the music," Clark says. "Some things that people even find ugly or harsh don't register to me as ugly or harsh — I'm just like, 'Oh, that's beautiful!'
"You know, it's like people, just these weird petri dishes of emotion and reason and all this. It's the same thing with music. I love it all; I love how people actually are. I love the one thought that you would never say out loud, that you finally find the nerve to say — that terrible thought you think, or that wonderful thought you think. It's all that unique universality of humanity."
Clark spoke about St. Vincent with NPR's Arun Rath; hear more of their conversation at the audio link.