St. Vincent’s Annie Clark on her “nerdy tech” influences at SXSW

St. Vincent talks to NPR's Ann Powers during a SXSW interview.
St. Vincent talks to NPR's Ann Powers during a SXSW interview.

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Annie Clark, better known as St. Vincent, talked to NPR’s Ann Powers at a South by Southwest panel that touched on the evolution of her sound, her creative process and even how sexuality factors into her songs.

Clark grew up in the Dallas area, and is still very connected to her Catholic roots. But, don’t let her religious?background fool you. She assured Powers she tried to keep any of that type of symbolism out of her music.

“Religious symbols are a sort of short hand because everyone knows that story,” Clark said. “I’m much more facinated with the way we create meaning in our lives through our own symbols. I’m fascinated with how people get through their days – the tiny hopes and fears – because it’s so human, so romantic.”

Clark just released her self titled album (St. Vincent) last month, almost immediately after she came off tour in support of her collaborative album with David Byrne, Love This Giant. This record has a much more different sound that she describes as “less jazz hands” than her first album in 2007 Marry Me. She assured Powers this different sound came about organically.

“At this point it all comes out intuitively,” Clark said. “I’ll figure out what it all means later, which is a new process because it means trusting there’s some unconscious narrative. It’s a level of skill where you can actually forget the process.”

Talking to a SXSW crowd, Clark made sure to mention how she involved tech into her new album, and how new tech has influenced her.

“When you listen to Lucky Star you don’t realize there’a a subtle grid that’s interlocking the whole thing,” she said. “I transposed it on the computer then turned the whole thing in minor.”

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