Animation by Chris McD. From Daddy’s Home, out May 14 on Loma Vista.
The latest St. Vincent videos aren’t doing the songs any favors. Do we need to be bashed over the head with the pastiche gimmick? No, we do not.
The songs are cool and they sound great. Those tones and instrument choices are timeless. The drum sound on this new single is huge and moving. The Wurlitzer electric piano will never go out of style. The electric sitar, on the other hand, is a little goofy, but it’s a lot worse when you hear it while you’re watching this corny video. We get it. Seventies. Fine. Got it. Whatever.
Seeing this song performed on Saturday Night Live was a revelation about how this material can be presented without the cheese. Yes, Annie Clark is still wearing that terrible wig and is dressed like a prostitute in an exploitation film, but this time she looks cool. Not silly. Cool. She proves she can still pull off an interesting visual theme without merely relying on hackneyed cliches about the 70s. She’s immersing herself in those accoutrements in order to mess with us, like when David Bowie dressed up like a clown forty years ago and scared the shit out of America.
So yeah. More art, hold the cheese, please.
Especially since “The Melting Of The Sun” is such a cool song. Clark described it to Rolling Stone as “a love letter to strong, brilliant female artists. Each of them survived in an environment that was in a lot of ways hostile to them.” The lyrics specifically namecheck Joni Mitchell, Tori Amos, and Nina Simone. I just don’t get why you’d want to blunt the message with a dopey video that looks like a combination of Schoolhouse Rock and the Teletubbies.
Saturday Night Live, April 3, 2021.
Video: David Bowie (live on SNL)
With Klaus Nomi and Joey Arias on Saturday Night Live, December 15, 1979.