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NewsMusic NewsSt. Vincent reflects on a decade of ‘Strange Mercy’: “I wanted to make something as beautiful and perverse as I felt”

The album was created between her home in New York and producer John Congleton’s studio in Texas

By Caleb Triscari

St. Vincent in 2012 performing in support of her album 'Strange Mercy'
St. Vincent in 2012 performing in support of her album ‘Strange Mercy’. CREDIT: Kim Dyson/Getty Images.

St. Vincent has reflected on the creative process behind her third album, ‘Strange Mercy’, on the tenth anniversary of its release.

On social media, the singer and multi-instrumentalist – real name Annie Clark – explained how she wrote the bones of single ‘Cheerleader’ while in her East Village apartment, “the sounds of [her] filthy A/C window unit and the NYC street noise nearly drowning out [her] singing and strumming on the recording.”

For the album, she set up a makeshift recording studio in her closet, where she wrote the title track.

  • READ MORE: St. Vincent: “I wanted to tell my story with humour and compassion”

“I remember going down to Texas to work with [producer] John Congleton on the recording. Driving my Dodge Sprinter van with a Mercedes grill every day from my parent’s house to his studio in south Dallas,” Clark wrote.

“10-7 or 8 every day. Banker’s hours. With a little lunch break. For 3 or 4 or 5 weeks.”

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Clark also credited rhythm section musicians Bobby Sparks and McKenzie Smith for their work on the record and thanked fans for their support.

“I wanted to make something as beautiful and perverse as I felt,” Clark wrote.

“Thank you, John John. And Happy birthday, ‘Strange Mercy.’ You’ve had ten years to infect people. May you do so for many years to come. And, wow…an immense thank you to everybody who let my lil ‘Strange’ into your hearts and minds. I hope she treated you well.”

NME gave ‘Strange Mercy’ four-and-a-half stars upon its release, describing the LP as “a strange and wonderful record that shows no mercy in blowing your mind”.

St. Vincent has released four albums since ‘Strange Mercy’, including a collaborative record with David Byrne. Her last full-length release was ‘Daddy’s Home’ earlier this year.

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