RIYL: St. Vincent
(Photo: Renata Raksha / courtesy of the artist)Annie Clark's St. Vincent project is one so constantly in flux that it's basically impossible to pin down. From her beginnings as a Polyphonic Spree backup singer to her current status as indie rock giant, Clark has always wowed with her perfect-pitch vocals, outstanding guitar dexterity, and unmistakably potent but always inviting songcraft.
And sure, the records are fantastic. Taken chronologically, they demonstrate a fully-realized evolution from pleasant indie pop cub on "Marry Me" to formidable rock n' roll lioness on this year's "St. Vincent." But Clark has always artfully managed her image and presentation as well. Her most recent tour features choreography that ably supplements the music, but also articulates further nuances to Clark's art. It's the sort of all-encompassing, every-details-counts arrangement that places Clark among those acts with true vision.
If you're a fan of St. Vincent's music, we've got a few more artists for you to check out. Stream a track by each below and check out a comprehensive Spotify playlist.
The music of duo The Blow is often reminiscent of St. Vincent's wide-eyed indie pop, but Khaela Maricich and Melissa Dyne replace guitars with bubbly synths. Like Clark, they also make the most of their live show, incorporating visual and conceptual elements for a set that moves beyond the typical band on stage performance.
Lady Lamb the Beekeeper
Hailing from Portland, Maine, Aly Spaltro bristles with infectious energy as Lady Lamb the Beekeeper. Spaltro has a knack for not just maintaining but continuously increasing the momentum of her music on songs like "Aubergine," and it's hard not to get immediately enthralled the moment you hit "Play."
Torres' self-titled full-length was among the very best debuts of 2013, but it flew somewhat under the radar. 23-year old Mackenzie Scott shows wise-beyond-her-years scope on the album's ten songs, which incorporate the deep, disquieted vocals and guitar fuzz sometimes found in St. Vincent's music.
Barnett, like Clark, has more than just a way with words: her lyrics are the type that have you figuring out how to rewind on your iPod. The Australian singer-songwriter's debut release "The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas" features narrations of severe asthma attacks and spur-of-the-moment casino trips, all delivered in Barnett's deadpan delivery that's equal parts brooding and charming.
A bit more of a stretch compared to the other entries here, but fans of Clark's grittier side should find something to love from Steve Albini's 1980s punk band. Often crude but always determined, Big Black made two records of aggressive noise-driven rock that remain widely influential indie mainstays, and led to Albini's life-long career as an audio engineer for the likes of Nirvana, Pixies, PJ Harvey, Cloud Nothings, and many more. Clark herself paid tribute to the band with a remarkable cover of the band's signature song, "Kerosene."
You made it!
You love learning about new music and the Denver music scene. We have a weekly newsletter for you -- Inside Track. Sign up here to stay in the know about the hottest Colorado concerts and how you can score tickets!