She’s probably not the weirdest thing to come out of Las Vegas, but St Vincent definitely knows how to challenge pop conventions. Her new album MASSEDUCTION, takes her signature art-pop sound to a darker place than her previous self-titled album, exploring power, sex and death through warped soundscapes.
St Vincent announced the album last month with a quirky, stilted press-conference video, in which she asked herself questions like, “Are there woodwinds on the album?” and “Are you okay? Last night I had a dream that you fell down a giant bathroom sink.” Ever since we’ve been drip fed bite after tantalising bite of MASSEDUCTION, beginning with lead single, ‘New York‘ and scathing pop track ‘Los Ageless‘. Today we get to hear the full 13-track masterpiece in all its odd glory.
The album instantly takes on a haunting tone, with the cacophony of whirring synths in opening track ‘Hang On Me‘. Yet despite this new dark side, pop hooks still reign supreme throughout the surprising tracks. Energetic ‘Sugarboy‘ is gritty and strangely catchy, especially when the hypnotic melody from next track ‘Los Ageless‘ starts seeping through later in the track.
Final track ‘Smoking Section‘ pulls all this energy and chaos away to reveal St Vincent in a vulnerable but powerful ballad, lead by her husky voice and gentle piano but littered with assaults of screaming guitars. Ending with an ethereal outro that repeats “It’s not the end”, the final track leaves us wondering if this isn’t the end, what’s next? We’re sure whatever it is, we won’t be expecting it.
Words by Hayley Franklin.