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Back to Music talks to... / Apr 26, 2024

HEADLINER: St Vincent / All Born Screaming

Our new Headliner: St. Vincent / All Born Screaming is out now!

Three years on from the release of her critically-acclaimed fifth album Daddy's Home, Annie Clark - better known by her stage name St. Vincent - returns with a brand new album that may be her most personal to date.

St. Vincent made her recorded debut in 2007 with Marry Me, quickly becoming regarded as one of the most innovative and fascinating presences in modern music. Following a 2021-2022 global tour that reaffirmed St. Vincent's status as one of live music's preeminent forces with headline appearances at the likes of the Hollywood Bowl and Radio City Music Hall, Clark would begin work on album number seven: Her first fully self-produced album (having co-produced every one of her previous efforts).

All Born Screaming is St. Vincent at her most primal. Featuring Clark leading 'a curated group of rippers' through the brawny Broken Man, the mordant catwalk sashay through the deafening assault of self-loathing that is Big Time Nothing, the sublime, elegiac earworm Sweetest Fruit, All Born Screaming is equal parts spiritual desolation and rapturous acceptance.

Own your copy of our Headliner: All Born Screaming on #hmvExclusive half & half coloured vinyl, while stocks last.  

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We've been massive fans of St. Vincent for years, and caught up with her on her last album Daddy's Home, check out our interview below!

When did you start and finish work on the new album? Obviously the pandemic has put a lot of things on ice, have you had it ready to go for a while?

“I started before the pandemic hit actually, and did a lot of the work in my home studio, so we weren’t impacted too much in the process of completing the record.”


You’ve said that the new album and its title were inspired by your father’s incarceration and subsequent release from prison. It’s a very candid way to address something very personal, was this a more difficult album to write because of that?

“As the story had already come out in bits and pieces over the years, it didn’t feel like I was saying anything for the first time, more that I was telling MY story – with nuance, humour, and compassion.”


It must’ve been a difficult thing to have happening in your life while your career was taking off, with touring and everything else – was it sort of cathartic getting it all down on paper?

“I’m very proud of the album and getting to make it was one of the best experiences of my life, but it’s important to note that “Daddy’s Home” has further implications. It’s very much about my own transition into taking up that space, like I’m the daddy now, both personally and professionally. Getting THAT down paper was cathartic.”


How do you think that has manifested in terms of the lyrical themes on the new album? The songs we’ve heard so far seem to deal a lot with the idea of redemption – would you agree?

“Most of these songs are about flawed people, just doing their best to get by.”


Were there any particular tracks that set the direction of the rest of the album?

“Well, the album is set in NYC between 1971-1976, after the flower children idealism, but before the escapism and static excess of disco. Downtown Manhattan you had the combo of rock jazz blues funk soul. It was very sophisticated but you didn’t know it. It was just good. Songs like 'Daddy’s Home' or 'Down And Out Downtown' really sum up that theme.”


A press release for the album also mentioned the influence of your dad’s vinyl collection and stuff from the early 70s?

“Oh yes, absolutely – I grew up listening to tons of artists from the 70s. My first concert ever was Steely Dan, and I’ve seen them many times since then.”


You worked with Jack Antonoff again on the new album - given the nature of the subject matter, was it important to work with someone you’d already established a creative relationship with?

“Jack is one of my best friends and we work very well together. I think we would have worked together on this album regardless of the subject matter.”


What was Jack able to bring to the table as a writing partner and co-producer? What makes him a good fit for you, more generally?

“In addition to being a great musician and all that brings, Jack is an amazing cheerleader for the artists he works with. It sometimes feels like he’s a bigger fan of my ideas than I am, and that’s a great thing to have in a producer.”


Obviously it’s very difficult to plan tours and things at the moment but are you looking forward to taking the new songs out on the road?

“There is nothing in the world that I’m more looking forward to than getting on a stage to play this album for people.”


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