St. Vincent: Daddy’s Home (Loma Vista) - review | Under The Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Sunday, July 25th, 2021  

St. Vincent

Daddy’s Home

Loma Vista

May 13, 2021 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Throughout music history, there have always been those artists fascinated by the “what next.” These pioneers have existed in every decade, every movement, and every genre you can care to think of, constantly on the lookout for something utterly new, completely different, and unapologetically refreshing. It’s an attribute that all-too-often alienates them from the audience of the day, with their reputations only fully realized with the passing of time and the evaluations of the generations that come after them.

In terms of existing outside of her own time, the recent output of St. Vincent—alias of Annie Clark—has seemed to suggest that she is one such artist. The futuristic stylings of 2014’s self-titled record or 2017’s MASSEDUCTION positioned her at odds with a music scene so obsessed with the references and imagery of yesteryear that her boldness on these projects was a welcome breath of fresh air. These records have aged like fine wine, where the efforts of her contemporaries spoil like an onion left out in the sun. So, what happens when an artist who has built her entire persona around being boundary breaking and forward-thinking turns her perspective around and looks to the past for her inspiration?

Well, Daddy’s Home seems to offer the answer. A record built around not only Clark’s personal history—the “Daddy” of the title refers to her own father who was released from prison at the end of 2019—but the past decades of her musical and geographical lineages, it acts as a time capsule for the formation of Annie Clark. There is more than just a faint nod to Young Americans-era David Bowie here, as well as artists like Funkadelic and Pink Floyd.

Outside of music altogether, it’s difficult to imagine a record being made in this era of time that has a city as fundamentally stitched into its fabric as New York City is here. She points to filmmakers like John Cassavetes and Andy Warhol, both of whom honed their craft in the Big Apple. Aesthetically, she’s borrowing heavily from Candy Darling, one of Warhol’s Chelsea Girls and a transgender icon who acted as a muse for The Velvet Underground, and whose deathbed photograph was the cover of Antony and the Johnson’s seminal I Am a Bird Now.

An album so steeped in these cultural touchstones can end up being suffocated by its own influences and, on Daddy’s Home, it is certainly true to say that the most successful tracks (“Down,” “Somebody Like Me”) are those that appear less intrinsically attached to the elements that inspire their creation.

But, that being said, it is also a record that proves that whatever your misgivings about Clark’s authenticity, she is more than capable of musically rubbing shoulders with her thematic predecessors. Lead single and opening track “Pay Your Way in Pain” and second single “The Melting of the Sun” conjure images of brown carpets and mustard wallpaper with relative ease, showing that St. Vincent’s fascination with this particular era is more than that of just a passing tourist.

Daddy’s Home is a record that inspires mixed emotions. For those fans who have enjoyed, or indeed been introduced to St. Vincent as a result of her more futuristic endeavors, this will definitely prove a harsh left-turn, but for those listeners who come to this record having never really gotten on with St. Vincent’s music in the past, there would seem to be more approachable material here. It’s difficult to say with any certainty how successful Clark’s first true venture into nostalgia has been—it is less likely to evolve in people’s estimations as her previous few records have—but there is a warmth and a general coziness that exists on this project, the likes of which she has never produced before. (www.ilovestvincent.com)

Author rating: 8/10

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Average reader rating: 6/10



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