Those who were lucky enough to witness Annie Clark (a.k.a. St. Vincent) when she performed solo at Saint Louis University's Billiken Club a few years ago can attest to the fact that she is a one-woman wrecking crew — especially when it comes to layering loops of guitar, pristine vocals and crunchy, pulsating drum-machine blasts. But Clark's latest album, Actor, takes things to another level, by incorporating flourishes of chamber-orchestra goodness — flute, French horn and violin are featured prominently — alongside heavy bursts of sawtooth synths, bombastic drums and imaginative, finger-picked guitars. In the end though, the ease with which Clark maintains her modest, almost colloquial vibe in the midst of all these hyper-artistic mini-symphonies is what really makes her music irresistible.
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