The Best Songs in Dallas Music, 2009: St. Vincent's "Marrow" Chills Us To The Core at No. 3
[Editor's Note: Over the next couple of weeks, I'll be presenting my favorite local songs of the year, counting down from No. 25 to No. 1, one track a day. Today we take an in-depth look at song No. 3 on the list--and, please, feel free to click after the jump for a free download of the track. Lastly, please keep checking back to see how the list pans out. Also after the jump, check out songs No. 40-26 in the Top 40 list that will update as it grows...]
No. 3: St. Vincent -- "Marrow"
Dallas native Annie Clark's second full-length release under her stage name of St. Vincent is, in many ways, a lesson in dualities--most prominently in the fact that her twisted lyrics are covered up by the soothing coo with which she sings them.
Yet there's another duality at play here as well--namely, the fact that few would peg Clark, what with her cherubic good looks and all, as the stereotypical guitar heroine. But on Actor's second single, "Marrow," Clark puts her guitar chops on blast, more than staking her claim as a guitar goddess.
Plus, y'know, it's a phenomenal song to boot.
Live, "Marrow" is a sight to behold, with Clark pounding her guitar with her fist and thrashing about as she strikes out at her strings. But even on record, her playing remains a sharp, angular marvel.
A chunk of the credit here should be tossed the way of producer John Congleton of The Paper Chase, himself no stranger to angular melodies--but let's not discount Clark here either. Utilizing her gorgeous vocals, she capably lures in this song's listeners in, only to be all that much more caught off-guard as guitar freakouts begin. It's a phenomenal device--and one that continues paying off as the song continues along.
It's an interesting stylistic choice, too: Less nightmarish twee than most St. Vincent tracks, "Marrow," with the help of its backing horns, boasts an almost funk-ish feel under its rather rocky exterior. Consider is proof that a little boundary pushing is never a bad thing.
And in St. Vincent's case, of course, that's a great thing.
The Top 40 Local Songs of 2009 (Links to music videos and free song downloads available where applicable; links to streams where neither a download nor video exists.)
...and be sure to keep checking back, as this list will update daily
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