Thursday, May 02, 2024

St. Vincent Delivers a Repetitive Reverie With 'Big Time Nothing'

American singer-songwriter St. Vincent has released another song as part of her new album, ‘All Born Screaming’.

The album cover depicts Anne Clark – the artist’s real name – on fire. Is this so that the artist could be reborn, like a phoenix, or some sort of performance art with respect to twisted current events?  Her new song ‘Big Time Nothing’ is about the empty stuff of city life and societal norms. 

The lyrics explore the conflict between conformity and individuality through clear instructions and contradictory commands. Each verse presents new directives: "Don't blink, don't wait / Don't walk, you're late”. 

The repetitive chorus, "I look inside, I look inside, I look inside / Nothing," emphasises the emptiness that can accompany conformity. There is a disconnect between outer trappings and inner truth.

The gated snare and the synths are reminiscent of Icelanding artist Björk’s ‘Army of Me’, both odes to self actualisation. St. Vincent has previously cited Björk as a creative inspiration for her music. The title track ‘Big Time Nothing’ also takes one’s mind to Björk’s ‘Big Time Sensuality’.

St. Vincent masterfully crafts a sonic landscape where repetition becomes a tool for emphasis, echoing the cyclical nature of the song's themes. The melody, though repetitive, serves a purposeful role, amplifying the impact of the lyrics with each iteration. It's as if every recurrence of the melody reinforces the message, driving it deeper into the listener's consciousness.

Accompanying this repetition is a mesmerising fusion of gated drums and synths, creating a dynamic blend of electronic beats that pulsate with energy and urgency.

UK fans are in for a treat, as the artist has two concerts lined up in May and June. Known for delivering unforgettable live performances, catching the artist on stage is an experience not to be missed.

Evelina Lungu

Image: 'All Born Screaming' Official Album Cover

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