This Week’s Model — St. Vincent, “Pay Your Way In Pain”

Annie Clark makes no secret of the creative inspiration behind the forthcoming St. Vincent album Daddy’s Home. In a quick Q&A on Twitter, she cited the work of a musical genius during inarguably his period of greatest jaw-dropping accomplishment.

Since this is a St. Vincent album, there’s no reason to expect the specificity of that callout means a nostalgia-washed pastiche is one the way. The album’s lead single, “Pay Your Way In Pain,” instead confirms that Clark draws from the past without being beholden to it. The cut has veins of soul and funk pulsing through it, but they are in service to electrified dance music that has a clear kinship with St. Vincent’s recent masterworks. If the sheen of nineteen-seventies sleaze makes the song shimmer a little differently, it is still unmistakably the product of Clark’s unique brilliance. Wonder is the inspiration in some of the basic sonic styling, sure. More intriguingly, Clark has drawn from her esteemed predecessor in pop opuses the fearless freedom to push musical forms to their arbitrarily imposed limits and beyond.

Daddy’s Home is scheduled for release in May 2021.

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