Today is Annie Clark of St. Vincent
's birthday. In addition to that, this month also marks the five year anniversary of Clark's third album Strange Mercy.
follow-up is arguably one of our favorite albums ever, so to celebrate this momentous occasion, we've decided to round up the ten best songs of all time released by this singing/guitar slaying musical mastermind (from worst to best). This took a lot
of thinking, more than I'm used to. I also tried to avoid overthinking this for days and just went with my gut's first choices. Picking some songs over others and cutting others out was a real challenge... but bear with me, for I have my reasons.
10. "Huey Newton"
Apparently this song was inspired after Annie Clark took a shit ton of ambien and thought that she saw Huey Newton, the famous political activist, which is a good enough reason to like this song. However there's another reason to love it. In the second half of the song, Clark breaks into the most bad ass guitar breakdown with heavy drums, and gospel vocals. It's that moment you wait for during the live show.
9. "Actor Out Of Work"
This track is off of Clark's second album, Actor.
The production on that record wasn't the best, but this was one of the songs that was so good, it was able to break through the muddiness. The entire song is one big, fun, memorable metaphor.
8. "Human Racing"
"Human Racing" is off of Clark's debut LP, Marry Me,
which was jazzier and more stripped back. This track is a clear standout with its Paris-inspired guitar picking, summery horns, and quirky vocals. Once again, the second half of the song goes into an epic new melody as Clark repeats over and over, "You're not the first to break my heart" in her best falsetto.
7. "Birth In Reverse"
Starting off with the lyrics, "Oh what an ordinary day / Take out the garbage, masturbate," Clark goes into her grittiest song yet. The crunchy guitars take on the role of a new instrument and Clark demonstrates what she's truly capable of.
Another standout on Actor,
Clark creepily and quietly goes over bone structure and then blasts into that grittiness we hear again later on in her career in "Birth In Reverse."
Clark shows just how clever and inventive she is with this song, off of Strange Mercy.
The horns kind of sound like guitars? The guitars kind of sound like horns? The drums weirdly go along with the vocals... And then at the end, we're taken into a euphoric world of pure bliss. The story she tells is also compelling, "You're like a party I heard through a wall / Invite me."
Another off of Strange Mercy
, the track starts off soft and then quickly bursts into the most epic chorus (man, I hate the word epic, but it's truly what it is).
Also off of Strange Mercy
(sorry for the repeats, but hey, it was a fucking great album), this was Clark's breakout hit - so it'd be a little too predictable to make it No. 1, right? Well, it's a perfect indie pop song. Clark sings a melody as her guitars go off on their own, carrying the song. The Tim Burton vibe almost makes it feel a little nostalgic...
Dare I say that this song is almost perfect? It's full of sweeping synths, breathtaking imagery, noodling guitars, and oh, the breakdown at the end. Just skip to that.
1. "Digital Witness"
"Digital Witness" is St. Vincent's best song. It's off of her latest self-titled record, which exhibits Clark at her musical peak. She's only continuing to get better, and this song proves that by itself. It still has her signature guitar sound with thumping, rhythmic horns, and clever lyrics all wrapped into one, but this time with pop sensibilities. It's like regular St. Vincent, but a little more accessible - something that everyone likes after one listen.