st vincent is the moniker of singer / multi-instrumentalist / composer annie clark and this is her debut full-length. she's opened for such diverse acts as television, jose gonzalez, and sufjan stevens, and she's an inventive and versatile guitarist who has also performed with avant-garde composer glenn branca. on this record, she writes cinematic pop epics that feel at times like paris in the 20s before all the fun ended. or, conversely, an orchestra of pure modernity - a new american music, informed by jazz, gospel blues, southern folk music, and classical composition but, in the end, an animal original unto itself. she's been compared to everyone from bjork to kate bush to jeff buckley, and her beautiful voice melds perfectly with her intricate guitar work. the music is complex and varied, the lyrics intelligent. the songs are instantly memorable and that is a pretty rare quality.