I originally found Annie Clark (St. Vincent being her stage name) while browsing Youtube. I was looking for footage of The Beatles performing their song “Dig a Pony” during their last live show on the rooftop of Apple Studio in London. However, instead of finding the video I was looking for, I found of St. Vincent playing a cover of “Dig a Pony”, solo, with no backing band. It was very well done, and I have to say, I was impressed. After watching her cover of one of my favourite Beatles songs, it led me to check out some of her original works, and boy was I even more impressed when I did.
Clark has released three albums between 2007 and 2011. This song comes from her album, Actor, which was released in 2009. Despite all three of her studio LP releases being great, this song is by far my favourite creation of Clark’s.
I mentioned the Beatles earlier. This song reminds me greatly of their tune “A Day in the Life”. It is by no means close to being the same song, but you can tell that the inspiration is there. Much like “A Day in the Life,” “Black Rainbow” ends with an ascending scale, with a chilling orchestral feel. It is an incredibly effective way to end the song and it makes you want to listen to the rest of the album, just to hear what happens next.
I should also mention that this is another musician who is much better live than on their recordings. (Check out the video on Youtube of her performing this song live with Andrew Bird. It’s incredible!) Being able to make your songs sound better live, at least to me, is what separates good musicianship from great musicianship. If you ever have the chance to see one of her shows, seize the opportunity while it’s there.