Since its release back in 2009, Actor by St. Vincent has cemented itself as one of my favorite albums of the last few years. When talk of a new album was mentioned back in January I was excited to hear it, and today Strange Mercy is finally released, (in the UK at least – the US have to wait till tomorrow; my native Ireland managed to get it last Friday for some reason)! To mark it’s release 4AD recently put out a video for the album’s excellent Cruel. I reckon this song and video will no doubt whet your appetite for the album.
Directed by frequent St. Vincent collaborators Terri Timely, the video takes us to a wonderfully eerie place. For me, it works like any of the great dark fairy tales, enticing you in with Annie Clark’s enchanting beauty and then taking you to some wonderfully dark and twisted places. Perhaps it’s the confident restraint displayed by Terri Timely that I like most about the video. The camera lingers on some really beautiful shots and throughout I was reminded of much of the work of Gregory Crewdson – which as a Crewdson fan, is no bad thing. You can buy Strange Mercy online here or stream it for a limited-time for free on NPR.