St. Vincent

Both a gifted singer-songwriter and virtuoso guitarist, St. Vincent honed her craft during stints with The Polyphonic Spree and Sufjan Stevens' backing band before becoming the darling of the art-rock crowd thanks to a string of albums which combined forward-thinking production with beautifully-crafted melodies and emotionally complex themes. Born Anne Erin Clark in Tulsa, OK in 1982, St. Vincent grew up in Dallas where, inspired by the likes of Sonic Youth and Pearl Jam, she first picked up her instrument of choice at the age of twelve. Encouraged to pursue her musical ambitions by her parents, she was allowed the opportunity to work as the tour manager for her aunt and uncle, vocal jazz duo Tuck & Patti, at the age sixteen and later studied for three years at Boston's Berklee College of Music. After recording an EP, the palindrome-titled Ratsliveonnoevilstar, with some of her fellow students, she joined white-robed baroque-pop collective The Polyphonic Spree on a European tour and also performed with avant-garde composer Glenn Branca's 100-guitarist orchestra. In 2006, St. Vincent joined Sufjan Stevens' touring band, recorded the Paris Is Burning EP and adopted her stage moniker in homage to a line from Nick Cave's "There She Goes My Beautiful World." After landing a record deal with the estimable British indie label Beggars Banquet, St. Vincent recruited several of her one-time bandmates and long-time David Bowie pianist Mike Garson for 2007's Marry Me, a strikingly self-assured debut which immediately drew comparisons with Kate Bush. Inspired by Woody Allen and various scenes from children's films, the 2009 follow-up Actor consolidated her status as one of America's most inventive new artists with an ambitious blend of rock, jazz, electronica and classical, deservedly giving her a first Billboard chart entry in the process. 2011's Strange Mercy, a uniquely confessional affair which touched upon themes of depression, isolation and loss, further widened St. Vincent's appeal, peaking at No. 19 in the US and topping several end-of-year polls. Having taken on the role of Imelda Marcos on Fatboy Slim and David Byrne's 2010 concept album Here Lies Love, St. Vincent then teamed up with Byrne on a duo album, 2012's brass-driven Love This Giant, before contributing to the "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2" (2012) soundtrack with "The Antidote." In 2014, she fronted Nirvana for a performance of "Lithium" during the band's induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. That same year, St. Vincent reached No.12 on the Billboard 200 with her self-titled fourth solo album, which flirted with 1980s-style electronics. A highly stylized, choreographed performance of her songs "Birth In Reverse" and "Digital Witness" on the 39th season finale of "Saturday Night Live" (NBC 1975- ) brought her music to a wider television audience, much of which expressed confusion about her experimental music and artsy performing style on social media. Clark made her debut as a filmmaker by directing one segment of "XX" (2017), a horror anthology by female directors. That short film served as the opening act of St. Vincent's 2017 tour in support of Masseduction, an album that toyed with current pop music styles in the context of St. Vincent's typically cerebral lyrics and performance style.