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Thursday, September 18, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 52.0° F  Fog/Mist
The Paper
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St. Vincent: St. Vincent
(Loma Vista)

Concerts -- not albums -- are the biggest moneymakers for many touring acts, and one smash song can often fill a venue. Each of the 11 tracks on St. Vincent could hold its own as a single, but I appreciate that they make an even greater impact as a group.

Annie Clark's blend of electronics and guitar work is masterful, and she uses vocal styles like costumes, adding drama to rich sonic backdrops on songs like "Huey Lewis." With bouncing dance beats and ominous-sounding chords, "Rattlesnake" has an infectious bite, especially when Clark lets out an anxious "Wha-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-oh." Repeated syllables are also used to great rhythmic effect on "Psychopath." They seem like a nod to the fa-fa-fa of "Psycho Killer," a legendary track sung by David Byrne, her collaborator on 2012's Love This Giant. To this Clark adds a sweet, soaring chorus fit for a '60s girl group and guitar textures jagged enough to slay whatever might be haunting her mind.

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