Although it's tempting to say St. Vincent is the alter ego as well as the stage name of Annie Clark, the art-pop she creates is so multidimensional and highly textured that two personalities barely scratch the surface. The Texas singer-songwriter and prodigious guitarist is a pop provocateur who defies expectations with constant rhythmic twists, jarring juxtapositions, and disquieting, often ambiguous lyrics. With her new band (Toko Yasuda, mini moog; Matt Johnson, drums; Daniel Mintseris, keyboards), she'll kick off a fall tour at the Walker supporting her third album, Strange Mercy. The title track offers a sort of frigid comfort, Clark angelically crooning a soulful lullaby (about "policemen who roughed you up") over an electronic pulse that bleeds into fathomless atmospherics eventually lashed by shredded electric guitar before drifting into a surreal temporal realm that melts like Dali's clocks. "Cheerleader" ricochets between quiet, folky rumination and stomping, industrial protestation, Clark's still-sweet vocal riding bucking, increasingly dissonant orchestration. "Surgeon" is a moody cauldron of skittering electronics, jazz-rock bolts, and icy funk, Clark meanwhile enticingly suggesting "Come cut me open." Which would likely lead to an entirely unexplored dimension. (Photo by Tina Tyrell)
Sun., Oct. 2, 7 p.m., 2011
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