St. Vincent: MASSEDUCTION — Complete

It has been awhile since I have written any of my musical musings and it’s not for a lack of words. I have discovered TONS of great music over the past few months. My job went crazy and my life went into an awkward spiral, but now I’m back.

Over the last few months I decided to rejoin Vinyl Me, Please. I was once a member and I don’t particularly remember why I stopped. Through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram reading all my browsing history and spying on my personal life, I received many advertisements for Vinyl Me, Please, and November’s record of the month, St. Vincent’s MASSEDUCTION, caught my eye.

Vinyl Me, Please Special Edition

Now, who hasn’t heard of St. Vincent? The record stores back home in Oklahoma take pride in her career because she was born in Tulsa, but my research tells me she moved to Texas before she was 5. I’d like to call her an Okie, but I don’t know if she would accept it.

Anyways, MASSEDUCTION quickly took me by surprise. Although I had seen a lot about St. Vincent’s music, this is actually my first foray into her catalog. I already have more of her albums on order.

To be candid, I really love MASSEDUCTION. This album served perfectly as an intro to St. Vincent’s work. I understand her earlier work is different, but this record has served as my gateway drug.

There are many reasons why I love this album, so many that it is hard to pinpoint exact reasons. Each song is like an impressionist painting. St. Vincent lays out what she sees, yet she leaves much to the imagination. Like many impressionist paintings, this album is also full of color as the orchestration ranges from heavy synthesizers to basic piano.

This album explores many themes, especially in relationships and self-discovery, but the reigning motif for me was self-acceptance. St. Vincent asks to be someone’s flawed foundation in “Hang On Me,” while calling BS on this world’s standards with “Pills” and “Los Ageless.” She knows what it’s like to be lonely and how her decisions have impacted her plight in life with “New York,” Fear The Future,” and “Young Lover.”

Curtosy of The Telagraph.

At the end of all these emotions and trials, she is working on accepting herself, because ” “she can’t help what turns her on” in “MASSEDUCTION.” Although this doesn’t result in her over confidence, because she is still completely vulnerable in tracks like “Happy Birthday, Johnny” and “Smoking Section.”

For me, MASSEDUCTION is not a musical journey, yet a musical process, set to the tone of purposeful “pop” if you will (Disclaimer: I think being “pop” is one of the most freeing “genres” of music. It is never a diss in my writings). Through this album’s instrumentation one can find influences of rock, dance, jazz, and electronica. This is easily seen from the rapid tempo of “Pills” to the string arrangement of “Dancing With A Ghost.”

One last note, St. Vincent’s vocals are nearly pristine on this album. Ballads, like “Happy Birthday, Johnny” really show off her “classic” vocal talent. She may be considered an indie or alternative artist, but she can sing circles with the best of them.

MASSEDUCTION completely accomplished it’s title, as it has completely seduced me into the world of St. Vincent and, apparently, I’m not alone. I was online today trying to buy tickets for her shows in New York City this weekend and they are completely sold out. Off to StubHub I go!

Check out St. Vincent’s official website here.

Check out St. Vincent’s Twitter: @St_Vincent.

Check out St. Vincent’s Instagram: @St_Vincent.

Check out St. Vincent’s Facebook here.

Stopping in The Tropics…Now Moving on

Art must never stop.

Music must always keep going. There will never be a perfect song. There will never be perfect lyrics. There will never be the perfect composition, but we must move on.

It is not often you find a song that plays to this subject, but I found The Tropics new The Tropics_Sleepless Videorelease, “Sons and Daughters,” addressing this very situation. The song addresses it in every way possible.

The Tropics are a band based out of San Francisco, CA. As stated on their website,  “Sons and Daughters plunges into the deep end of the final years in a classic coming of age story – years in which the nights are long and, for the first time, the potential for regret is fearfully discovered.”

Regret. A concept that goes hand in hand with progress.

Claire George’s vocals have a hint of anger, frustration, but most importantly, through regret, she has found a new identity. This is also highlighted through the “distance” you feel when listening to her vocals. She is singing right in your ear, yet the message is coming out of a well. The listener must discover it and make it their own, thus furthering this songs impact beyond a single message.

trop-sd-smThe composition of the music has the same effect. The song contains great guitar rifts, yet there is a rhythmic element that is knocking on dance’s door. It also shows through the songs complete change in deposition between the verses and chorus.

Through the expressed regret in this song, there is a glimmer of hope. Although it may not be explicitly laid out in the lyrics, the message is one of moving forward and to create something new. The essence of music and art.

The combination is excellent. The new found artistry is apparent. But you can’t catch the message.

It keeps moving on.

Watch the brilliant video, that was shot in 48 hours here by Bangers + Mash (http://ilovebangersandmash.com/):

 

And don’t forget, if you’re in San Francisco or the surrounding area, The Tropics are having a release show this Thursday at El Rio. BE THERE.