“I really started getting into effects and seeing what I could get from them,” Clark says of her time with the Spree. Enter distortion and fuzz.
“Sufjan, he just has this fantastic pair of ears,” she says. “It was like playing with an orchestra more than a band.”
Enter the string, woodwind and brass families. Chamber Pop. Billie Holiday incarnate.
“I’m really a guitar player, but I know how to play keyboard,” Clark says.
But she would like to, of course.
“The woodwind family has a really broad (equalizer) spectrum,” she says. “You can almost treat them like the human voice.”
And now a truly disarming recent album called Actor — the successor to her 2007 debut, Marry Me — is lifting her career (and probably padding sales at, say, Urban Outfitters and The Gap). It’s her Billie Holiday with Indie Pop, one could say, and proof that the computer program GarageBand is a god. (She has a Rock flare on fuzzy tracks like “Actor Out of Work” and “The Neighbors.”)
Clark wrote both albums entirely, and she attributes Actor, in part, to her interests in David Mamet and personal dualities. Enter theatrics and cinema.
This month she's touring with Andrew Bird (see CityBeat's interview with him here). They have crossed paths in three continents, she says, and recently in a Parisian apartment to collaborate for a concert.
Google “Soirée de poche: Andrew Bird et St. Vincent” already. Bird caresses the violin during her stripped-down takes of “What Me Worry?” and “Black Rainbow.”
(Buy tickets, check out performance times and get venue details here.)