This article was originally published in 2017.
The signs have always been there, if you knew where to look for them. The wide-eyed, sweet-looking ingenue on the cover of 2007’s Marry Me actually wasn’t very interested in getting married at all. There was definitely something subtly sinister lurking under the chamber pop flourishes of 2009’s Actor. 2011’s Strange Mercy was more explicitly unapologetic, finding St. Vincent, the performance persona of Annie Clark, confessing, “I’ve told whole lies with a half smile. I’ve thrown rocks, then hid both my arms.” And on 2014’s Grammy-winning self-titled record, Clark went full-blown near-future cult leader, dyeing her hair lavender and describing the finished product as “a party record you could play at a funeral.”
Clark has dealt in ideas of truth versus artifice and appearance versus reality for much of her career, but as her notoriety, fan base, and reputation as one of the most talented guitarists of her generation have grown, not to mention her tabloid recognition through very public relationships with bona fide celebs Cara Delevingne and Kristin Stewart, her concern about painting a pretty picture has inversely diminished.
In celebration of her birthday on September 28th, we give you 10 times that St. Vincent gave no fucks.