Monthly Archives: May 2009

St Vincent – just a damn fine Actor

stvincentactor This week I have been mostly listening to the new St Vincent album, Actor. I originally tripped up over her first album Marry Me on emusic, having seen it reviewed on Pitchfork. Marry me was stuffed full of lengthy, wordy songs with her clear and crisp vocals matched with equally clear and crisp guitar and light orchestration which made it at times feel like some kind of Broadway musical. If anything frustrated me it was a slight lack of edge, but I still loved what was there.

Then, smack out came her new album Actor preceded by the single Actor Out Of Work, which hinted at but didn’t reveal the fine balance that the Actor would tread.

For St Vincent it’s indecently loud, with NOISE everywhere, little wonder the others in the music video are crying. There’s also distortion everywhere, and it’s distortion that this album really specialises in. [1. At times, having just installed a new sound card, I was getting concerned my drivers were installed wrongly and malfunctioning.] One track that’s really come to be my favourite is Marrow, where the noise and distortion is combined with horns to create a fascinating funky backing to the kind of pitying lyrics that I’m more used to hearing from male vocalists. [2. maybe because I listen to more of them]

In a rare move, critical judgement of this album is similarly positive elsewhere though I am perplexed by an NME review that seems little more than a list of name checks.

Come On August, Want Ponyo NOW

As you probably know I’m a massive Studio Ghibli fan. Their last couple of films were sadly a bit disappointing partly due to lower levels of involvement from their (inevitably exhausted) genius director Hayao Miyazaki. [1. Though in truth his colleague Isao Takahata has also produced stranger and more fascinating films] Thankfully, their latest film Ponyo on the cliff by the sea has all the hallmarks of plenty of involvement from Miyazaki and now has a release date of sometime in August, maybe (TBC). I can barely wait.

Anyone looking for an interim Ghibli fix would do well to read over The Ghibli Blog, I really liked this music video in particular.