Review: St.Vincent unleashes highly anticipated seventh studio album All Born Screaming

Annie Clark bleeds with authenticity and urgency, unnerving and entirely captivating with new record ‘All Born Screaming’

Industrial rock spliced with sensual theatricality; St.Vincent glows darkly amongst the flames of her new record, a triumphant realisation of an ever-evolving artist.

Complete with all of the facets that have primed  St.Vincent as such a remarkable and iconoclastic feature in modern music, ‘All Born Screaming’ is nothing short of her masterpiece. 

This album is more than just explosive; it’s the chemical equation broken down into its finest pieces before being reassembled to cause as much sonic destruction possible.

The first half of the album is relentless; Clark’s fascination with production leading to bated breath and a multitude of unexpected sonic entanglements.

‘Hell is Near’ is ominous, uncaged and sprawling. It feels as if Clark picks up any instrument in her vicinity and acclimates it to the weather of this imitable sound.

Having any slight indication of what might happen next is thrown violently out the window with this record; which is a part of what makes it so addictive – its ability to frighten.

‘Reckless’ is dripping with romanticism, though the undertone of violence seeps out of Clark’s sparse and lingering piano and unsteady vocal.

Single, and rightfully so, ‘Broken Man’ harkens back to ‘Masseuduction’, buoyant and percussive synths invite a close ear, while intensity peeks out from behind the corners.

Impossible to predict, ‘Broken Man’ is frenetic and measured, a mind on the verge of losing itself entirely. ‘Flea’ is unforgettable, its unflinching and gritty chorus stacked with hooks.

“Don’t trip, sashay,” Clark orders monotonically in ‘Big Time Nothing,’ a blend of funk, chamber pop, electronica and noise rock.

After such a powerful run of tracks, ‘Violent Times’ both relaxes and brings the drama.

Perhaps the draw of this record is the fact that it was entirely produced by Annie Clark alone, her experimentation always on the tip of her tongue, and her excitement at the helm of creation tangible.

Though the record loses some steam during its b-side tracks, ‘Sweetest Fruit’ stands tall and recognisable as a St.Vincent soundscape.

The title track features Cate Le Bon, and leans hard into the psychedelia, funk and pop dramatics that lay firm in Clark’s wheelhouse.

Even with this potential drop of energy in its second half, ‘All Born Screaming’ is undoubtedly in the running for album of the year, and unquestionably Clark’s best, most invigorating work to date.

Listen to ‘All Born Screaming’ now.