In late July, she appeared in the lobby of New York City’s Marlton Hotel, her temporary home during the making of Masseduction.She had come from pilates — which she likes because it makes her sing better and “come a lot harder” — and disappeared to change out of her leopard-print gym shorts. ) The only time her control slipped was when the hotel's stereo started playing “Who,” a knotty song from the album she made with David Byrne, and she shriveled like a salted snail at hearing her own voice.Vincent — but the writing’s proggy complexity was cockblocking the emotion. I had no idea.”Clark is much too self-aware for this to be completely true.“In so many ways, I thought I was being completely transparent and brave in every record, only to realize that they are very oblique,” Clark told Buzz Feed News. But the difference between her polite, guarded Texan past and confrontational present is colossal.On the new album’s “Sugarboy,” a dystopian, post-Moroder disco banger, she describes herself as a “casualty hanging on from the balcony.” (She literally climbed rafters in some theaters, kicking away security guards.) This hysteria is one of the reasons she considers Masseduction her saddest record.
But these days, she’s a playful freak who revels in showing the tightness of her grip, a disposition aided by long, straight eyebrows that dance like Memphis squiggles.“It was just a lot of a lot, you know.”After the St.Vincent tour dates ended, Clark had to learn to construct and value life away from the road — she had been on tour since age 16, when she worked as an assistant for her aunt and uncle’s jazz group. ” Though sometimes she uses those themes to dress up more mundane relationship dynamics.“Oh, so what / Your mother did a number / So I get gloves of rubber / To clean up the spill,” she sneers.“Scenario has to rhyme, babe,” is all Clark said about its veracity. “What does power look like, who wields it, how do they wield it — emotionally, sexually, financially? The album was properly born over a creative first-date dinner with Jack Antonoff, the Bleachers frontman who also recently produced and wrote with Lorde and Taylor Swift.
She was bemused at being asked to explain the lyrics. Clark was looking for a teammate; they told each other everything that was going wrong in their lives and decided that total oblivion was the only way out of their heads.
“And I still love that,” she said of touring, “but it’s more like a component of my life now rather than…my life.” Back home she indulged in a “period of bacchanalia,” and briefly got into self-medicating, an experience she turned into the lunatic track “Pills”: Imagine the Stepford Wives lost in Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory (Kamasi Washington guests on saxophone; Delevingne sings on the chorus). “Savior” explores the unhealthiness of mutual projection through a funny S&M parable involving nurses and nuns and our tediously prosaic concepts of kink: “You put me in a teacher’s little denim skirt,” Clark moans on the song.