Anne Erin "Annie" Clark (born September 28, 1982), better known by her stage name St. Vincent, is an American musician, singer-songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. After studying at Berklee College of Music for three years, she began her music career as a member of the Polyphonic Spree. Clark was also a member of Sufjan Stevens's touring band before forming her own band in 2006.
St. Vincent's work has received consistent praise for its distinct musical style, which blends soft rock, experimental rock, electropop, and jazz influences. Her debut album was Marry Me (2007), followed by Actor (2009), Strange Mercy (2011), St. Vincent (2014) and Masseduction (2017). She released a collaborative album with David Byrne in 2012 titled Love This Giant. Clark also contributed backing vocals for Swans on their 2014 album, To Be Kind. Her fourth solo album, self-titled St. Vincent, was released on February 25, 2014 and was named album of the year by The Guardian, Entertainment Weekly, NME, and Slant Magazine, as well as second best album of the year by Time magazine. The album won her a Grammy for Best Alternative Album, her first Grammy award. She was the first solo female performer in 20 years to win a Grammy in that category.
Annie Clark was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Her mother is a social worker turned administrator for a non-profit organization and her stepfather works in the tax business. Clark's parents divorced when she was three years old, and she moved to Dallas, Texas when she was seven years old with her mother and two older sisters. Her father lives in Tulsa. Clark is of Irish and Ashkenazi Jewish heritage. Clark was raised Roman Catholic and Unitarian Universalist. From her parents' blended families, Clark has eight siblings: four brothers and four sisters. She began playing the guitar at the age of 12 and, as a teenager, worked as a roadie for her uncle and aunt, Tuck Andress and Patti Cathcart, of the guitar-vocal jazz duo Tuck & Patti. She attended Lake Highlands High School, where she participated in theater and the school's jazz band, and was a classmate of Mark Salling (who later went on to star in the series Glee). Clark graduated from Lake Highlands in 2001.
Clark attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts for three years before dropping out. In retrospect, Clark said, "I think that with music school and art school, or school in any form, there has to be some system of grading and measurement. The things they can teach you are quantifiable. While all that is good and has its place, at some point you have to learn all you can and then forget everything that you learned in order to actually start making music." In 2003, during her time at Berklee, she released an EP with fellow students entitled Ratsliveonnoevilstar. While in Berklee, she worked with Heavy Rotation Records where "she revealed a much more private and intimate rendering of 'Count' for Dorm Sessions Vol. 1." While attending Berklee, Clark studied with Professor of Guitar, Lauren Passarelli. Shortly after leaving Berklee, Clark returned home to Texas where she joined The Polyphonic Spree just before their embarking on a European tour. In 2004, she joined Glenn Branca's 100 guitar orchestra for the Queens performance, and she was also briefly in a noise-rock band called The Skull Fuckers.
Clark left The Polyphonic Spree and joined Sufjan Stevens' touring band in 2006, bringing with her a tour EP entitled Paris is Burning. It contains three tracks, including a cover version of Jackson Browne's "These Days". ClearartWide ThumbFanart Banner User Comments