EP Review: St. Vincent “Pieta // Sparrow”

stvincent-pietaANNIE CLARK, A.K.A ST. VINCENT, released her fearless and eccentric self-titled album, “St. Vincent,” earlier this year – which differed emotionally from the 2011 breakout release “Strange Mercy.” Both albums seem to attract the attention of her fans simultaneously, while offering something different through each. Clark’s new EP, which has two singles, “Pieta” and “Sparrow,” offers a culmination of both “St. Vincent” and “Strange Mercy,” which is a solid bankroll for her fans.

PIETA starts out groovy and robust, creating “Digital Witness” motion that will have your head bobbing. Though “Pieta” is grittier than “Digital Witness,” you will find yourself pulled into a beautiful, melodic chorus in both songs. As you slide into the chorus of “Pieta,” Clark’s voice is high-pitched, soft, flowing and inadvertently welcoming – as the song continues to follow a slick and stellar beat; the kind you will definitely find in a token university drum circle.

SPARROW offers a deeper and darker presence to the EP that reminds me of “Grot,” which was an elusive and grungy single Clark released in 2012. Similarly, “Sparrow” is slow and steady, a bit disordered, though well kept, and offers a sense of curiosity that is reminiscent of ecclesiastical dominance. The end of the song is vast and humming –- traits that Clark seems to hold true to, which contribute nicely to the avant-garde appeal of her music – or should I say, courageous and pure art.

The EP is without a doubt abstract and fearless, which is why both of these tracks can be held in high regard, along with the unsurpassable LP, “St. Vincent.” The track, “Pieta,” hits closer to home, personally, because of the “Strange Mercy” that is woven within it’s robust chorus, though the attitude of “Sparrow” cannot be overlooked. You’ll find yourself adrift in Clark’s voice and  intimate guitar riffs, which correspond nicely with her varying arrangements. This EP is at the top of my highly recommended list – and it is certainly worth a sincere listen.

–Bree Burchfield

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