If St. Vincent’s recent stripped-down set at London’s Cadogan Hall proved that little bit too convincing to be the one-off performance suggested at the time, then that is because, as it transpires, it really wasn’t. Not only was ‘an[other] intimate evening w/ piano player Thomas Bartlett’ announced subsequently – it took place, incidentally, at Los Angeles’ Belasco Theatre last night – but Annie Clark has now also divulged full details for MassEducation: ‘a reimagining of MASSEDUCTION.’
From said release, Savior follows on from Slow Slow Disco before it; and while a rather less likely song to excel once pared right down (owing to such Rabelaisian lyrics as: “You dress me up in a nurse’s outfit/ It rides and sticks to my thighs and my hips,” or: “You dress me in a nun’s black habit/ Hail Mary pass, ’cause you know I’ll grab it,” perhaps), there’s a macabre brilliance to its opening moments, Bartlett’s staccato accompaniment the perfect complement to Clark’s snarky commitment to ribaldry. But it’s come its sleek chorus, wherein silken keys combine with one of, if not the most immaculate vocal take of her career to date, that the decision to reassemble MASSEDUCTION is so emphatically vindicated. By the time she’s bewailing, “Please,” repeatedly over crescendoing strains, she once again sounds every bit the “saviour” cited in the song’s title.
MassEducation is available from October 12th via Loma Vista Recordings.