Vanguard Award

St. Vincent

St. Vincent

St. Vincent’s Annie Clark has defied conventions and categorizations over the course of four albums.

Blending jazz, rock, new wave and pop into her songs with both musical and technical flair, Clark’s music has challenged listeners while it has hooked them with infectious melodies and provocative lyrics.

After a stint at Berklee in the early 2000’s, Clark lent her musical chops to such groups as the super-sized pop outfit the Polyphonic Spree and Sufjan Stevens’s backing band, before stepping out on her own and releasing her first full-length album Marry Me, in 2007. Her next album, Actor, was a big musical and lyrical step forward. But it was her beguiling live performances that drew an increasing, captivated audience.

After releasing her third St. Vincent album, the strikingly subversive Strange Mercy, in 2011, Clark met David Byrne at a Radio City Music Hall show in New York City. The two began to swap ideas, and the creative téte á téte snowballed into a full album, Love This Giant, which was released in 2012, and proved to be both a critical and commercial success.

While Clark’s career has progressively grown at its own natural pace, 2014 proved to be her breakout year.

With last year’s release of her self-titled album, her performance with the surviving members of Nirvana at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a much buzzed-about appearance on the season finale of Saturday Night Live and an expansive world tour, she was a creative tour de force. By year’s end, St. Vincent personified both the cutting edge and mainstream pop success – a feat many artists attempt, but only few achieve.

So after winning hearts of music lovers all over the world last year, on February 8th, 2015, Clark won something else rather special: the Grammy for Best Alternative Album for St. Vincent.

As she told ASCAP’s Playback magazine last year, “When writing, I adhere to the adage that if you want to get hit by a train, you better go stand on the track. There’s no substitute for just putting the work in and writing with a very concerted, focused effort.” Although those sound like the words of an old pro, we are thrilled to see what new musical worlds the visionary Clark leads us to next.