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St. Vincent

Who? St. Vincent is the eclectic solo effort of Annie Clark, a 23-year-old Texan with a full resumè; she’s served as guitarist for the Polyphonic Spree and Sufjan Steven’s touring orchestra. But on her debut album, Marry Me, the multi-instrumentalist tries her hand at vocals, piano, bass, and synth and gets a little help from longtime David Bowie pianist Mike Garson and Man or Astro-man’s Brian Teasley.

What’s the Deal? Clark may have defected from the Polyphonic Spree, but she brings the same orchestral ingenuity to her solo work. Marry Me, out July 10 via Beggars Banquet, brims with handclaps, dissonant piano, and rapidly shifting moods; songs often start sweetly but descend into conflict and doubt, especially the venomous apocalypse tale “Your Lips Are Red.” Clark’s fluid alto evokes Alanis when she’s angry and Nico when she’s cute — and on the title track, she’s irresistible when she entreats, “Marry me John, I’ll be so good to you.” Think she’s talking about former tour mate John Vanderslice?

Fun fact: It’s fitting that Clark sang on the Polyphonic Spree’s The Fragile Army; her great uncle was a lead prosecutor of the Nazis at the Nuremburg Trials. STACEY K. ANDERSON

Now Hear This: St. Vincent – “Now Now” DOWNLOAD MP3

On the Web: St. Vincent at MySpace

Talk: Are you ready to propose to St. Vincent?

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