St. Vincent

Collective Concerts & Indie88 Present

St. Vincent

Jenny Hval

Tue, March 3, 2015

Doors: 8:00 pm

The Danforth Music Hall

Toronto, ON

$35.00

Sold Out

This event is 19 and over

St. Vincent - (Set time: 9:30 PM)
St. Vincent
It starts with the creation myth: St. Vincent, naked and alone in the wilderness, startled as the ominous rattle of a snake breaks the silence of her Eden. She realizes she's not alone in the world and breaks into a run, headed towards the uncertainty of the future. It's a lovely and appropriate metaphor to open St. Vincent's self-titled fourth album, except that it literally happened.

"It's not a metaphor at all," St. Vincent, aka Annie Clark, says of the album's lead track, "Rattlesnake." While visiting a friend's west Texas ranch, she decided to strip away her clothes and fully enjoy the solitude that city life so rarely affords. "I went walking around this great expanse of land. There was no one around so I decided to take my clothes off and immerse myself in nature. I saw holes in the path, but did not put two-and-two together until I heard the rattle and caught a glimpse of the snake."

Clark's been moving at a breakneck speed for the past two years, barely stopping to catch her breath amidst a whirlwind of recording and touring. In 2011 she released her third album, 'Strange Mercy,' called "one of the year's best" by the New York Times and "something to behold" by Pitchfork. The record cemented her status as one of her generation's most fearsome and inventive guitarists, earned her the covers of SPIN, Paper, and Under the Radar, performances everywhere from the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Fallon to Letterman and Conan, and a year-long sold-out tour of her biggest venues to date around the world. She appeared on the hit IFC series Portlandia and graced the pages of Vogue's coveted September issue. It was during this already monumentally busy time that she completed work with David Byrne on their collaborative album 'Love This Giant,' another critical smash that was dubbed "marvelous" by the New Yorker and "magical" by NPR.

"I finished the 'Strange Mercy' tour in Japan and went directly into 'Love This Giant' rehearsals and the subsequent North American tour," says Clark.

At the end of it all, Clark made it clear to everyone in her life, in no uncertain terms, that she needed two weeks to decompress and readjust to life off the road. Time without interruption, without thoughts of albums or tours or festivals or studios. "36 hours later I sent everyone an email saying, 'I'm ready to go again,'" Clark laughs. "I began writing music."

Those songs turned into her most lyrically sophisticated and musically diverse collection to date, meshing distorted, aggressive electric guitars and bold vocal and synthesizer arrangements on top of a relentless rhythm section.

"I wanted the groove to be paramount," Clark says of the album, which she arranged and demoed extensively in Austin before heading into the studio in Dallas to record. She enlisted Dap-Kings drummer Homer Steinweiss and frequent collaborator McKenzie Smith of Midlake to share drum duties, while she returned to producer John Congleton to take the sonic potential they'd only just begun to tap with 'Strange Mercy' into dramatic new territory. "I wanted to make a party record you could play at a funeral."

The result is Clark's most gripping work to date. "Bring Me Your Loves" is a frenzied freakout, but even less frantic tracks like "Severed Crossed Fingers" still deliver her trademark blend of the beautiful and surreal. At the heart of all her music, though, lie larger questions about what it means to be human and the ways in which we seek to create meaning in our lives.

"Regret" catches her at a moment of immense vulnerability, while "I Prefer Your Love" may be the purest expression of affection she's ever written. "Digital Witness" tackles identity in the era of Instagram, with Clark singing, "If I can't show it / If you can't see me / What's the point of doing anything"

"We are inundated with technology that makes us perpetual spectators," says Clark. "It's not enough to just experience life, we have to document it and show it to other people in order to validate our existence." Clark is quick to admit that she, too, at times falls victim to the impulse, which is part of what fascinates her so much with the idea. "Lyrically, I'm always so interested in how complicated people are and the notion of true ambivalence," she says. "Literally, ambi-valence. Two ways at the same time."

Such is the music on 'St. Vincent': charming and alarming, gorgeous and morbid, comforting and uncanny. Four albums into one of music's most compelling careers, Annie Clark is as "ambi-valent" as ever, and she's not slowing down any time soon.
Jenny Hval - (Set time: 8:30 PM)
Jenny Hval
Jenny Hval has in recent years made a name for herself as an artist, musician and writer both in Norway and abroad. When her third record Viscera was released in 2011, WIRE magazine described the record as: "a stunning achievement both conceptually and musically."

Multidisciplinary and transgressive are words often employed to describe her art, but Jenny Hval's polyphonic artistry is in fact seamlessly interwoven between musical, literary, visual and performative modes of expression. Despite her young age, she has already infused, carved and modulated an artistic voice that is altogether present, accessible and obscurely complex at the same time.

Viscera was recorded with Hval's own free rock trio and overflowed with intimate detail and surrealistic bodily imagery. The follow-up Innocence Is Kinky (2013) was produced in Bristol, England by PJ Harvey collaborator John Parish, who helped bring out the intimate qualities of her lyrics and sharpened her improvisational tendencies, weaving spellbinding new forms of intelligent, experimental pop with injections from mythology, theory and gender politics. You can also trace her no-holds-barred streams of consciousness and unorthodox subject matter back to earlier heroes such as Einstürzende Neubauten's Blixa Bargeld (her title puns on their LP Silence Is Sexy), Patti Smith, Michael Gira, Nick Cave and Kate Bush.

Jenny Hval studied Creative Writing at the University of Melbourne, and Literature at the University of Oslo. She has previously released two albums under the alias Rockettothesky as well as two books – the novel Perlebryggeriet (The Pearl Brewery) in 2009 and the collage text Inn i ansiktet (Sings with her eyes) in 2012. Alongside this she has, produced collaborative performances and sound installations, as well as contributing to magazines, anthologies and newspapers.
Venue Information:
The Danforth Music Hall
147 Danforth Ave
Toronto, ON, M4K 1N2
http://thedanforth.com/