St. Vincent, seen here in 2018, will perform at Thompson’s Point on Friday. Ismael Quintanilla III/Shutterstock

Singer-songwriter St. Vincent (aka Annie Clark) has been writing, singing and producing cutting-edge albums since 2003. The two-time Grammy winner is bringing her unique sound to Portland’s Thomson’s Point at 7 p.m. Friday, in promotion of her latest record, “Daddy’s Home.” Before coming to Maine, Clark spoke to the Press Herald about her return to touring, her new album and her outlook on the future of live music.

Q: How do you feel about being back on the road?

A: I’m really looking forward to it! It will be like traveling around in a little bubble, but I can’t wait to be with people, feeling the energy, playing songs, getting sweaty, going crazy!

Q: During quarantine, (some feared) that live music would never recover from the pandemic. Were you ever afraid (of that)?

A: Not necessarily. Little clubs definitely struggled, and that’s scary, and a shame. That’s how people get their start. I played so many little clubs (around the world) just to figure out my live show, and get that experience. That stuff is really valuable and vital, but I was never worried that live music was never going to recover.

Q: What helped you keep that positivity?

A: (Laughs) Who said I’m positive? Who said I have a good attitude? As far as live music goes, where there’s a will, there’s a way. I think people need it. We need to have the place, time and space to have permission to go crazy, and let everything out in a safe space. It won’t die because we simply need that catharsis, that spectacle, that feeling.

Q: Your newest album, “Daddy’s Home,” is one of the more deeply personal albums in your anthology. What inspired you to open up like that?

A: I’m always trying to connect with people. Sometimes that’s with a literal story, and sometimes that’s in esoteric ways that are more impressionistic. For me, there’s a transformation involved in the record. Going from being a daughter, to becoming “Daddy” myself. I was playing with this transition, and trying to understand my past through the records my dad introduced me to, and explore both my relationship with him, but also where I am with everything now … At worst, the pandemic was anxiety-inducing and dull but at best, it (allowed me to) spend a lot of time (perfecting) Daddy’s Home.

Q: Were the records your father introduced you to part of the influence for the ’70s vibe of many of the tracks?

A: Definitely! I was playing with different colors. We’re always in some kind of dance between fluidity and rigidity, energetically as people. A lot of my work before this time has been pretty rigid. I wanted to make music that had a different logic, and a different sense of time and space. Something like, “Hey, come on in! Sit in this beat-up leather armchair, and let’s talk about it, without any judgement,” as opposed to music that’s more aggressive. I wanted the listener to be sitting comfortably in the song.

Q: Do you have a favorite track off the album?

A: My favorite song is “Down and Out Downtown.” I can picture (how) every single block I’m singing about is haunted. How we walk around with the ghosts of people who’ve gone before you but also previous versions of yourself, and trying to find yourself in New York City. It’s a place that can embrace you one minute, and kick you to the curb the next. That song is very romantic to me.

Q: How did it feel to be featured on Metallica’s new cover album, “The Metallica Blacklist,”with your rendition of “Sad But True”?

A: So fun! I really like producing. To be able to take the track from start to finish, and play everything on it but the drums, was fun. It was fun to learn Kirk Hammett’s guitar solo and put my spin on it, and leave one guitar solo in there that’s like, “this is what I would do!” It was just fun and perverted, and an homage to the metal band I used to play in, and I love it.

St. Vincent
7 p.m. Friday. Thompson’s Point, Portland. $40 in advance, $45 on the day of the show. Proof of vaccination against COVID-19 or a negative test from within the past 48 hours is required for entry. For more information or to purchase tickets, go to statetheatreportland.com.

Milena Calcagni is a freelance writer and photographer who lives in southern Maine.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.