Is St. Vincent Our New David Bowie-esque Rock Shapeshifter?

Photo: Zackery Michael

Annie Clark, better known as St. Vincent, is this generation's quintessential rock star. Her frenzied energy and brilliantly catchy songs are matched only by her unsurpassed guitar playing skills; in 2020, she covered Prince songs at the Grammys tribute to the late Purple One, owing to her six-stringed genius. But she's also a bonafide queer style icon, having honed her look from her two decades working as a professional musician. Music and culture deeply inform St. Vincent's sartorial cues, beginning with her humble start as a member of the Polyphonic Spree and a solo indie cult favorite in the aughts. As her star power grew, she used fashion to broadcast her music's new direction: her 2011 album, Strange Mercy, was an instant art rock classic, and it came through in her goth-influenced black column gowns and sleek brunette bob.

Now, St. Vincent is poised to begin a new chapter in her musical evolution. Her seventh full-length album, Daddy's Home, is her most exemplary rock work to date, and she's taking inspiration from Kate Bush, David Bowie, and Cindy Sherman in her latest video "Pay Your Way In Pain." It's a 70s fever dream, complete with hazy spotlights, kaleidoscope camera effects, and lots of diffraction spikes — the photographic term for those sparkling points of light that were everywhere in the disco era. And now, she has blond hair! See how she's taken her style forward by looking into the past, and check out the video below. Daddy's Home will be released on May 14 on Lomo Vista Records.

It's 2021, and everyone is ready to dance as soon as Dr. Fauci gives us the all-clear. St. Vincent is ringing in the Roaring 2020s with a throwback to one of the most notorious party decades in history. Like Bowie, she's paying homage to the primal human need to shake our ass together, whether it's with electronic music or pure adulterated rock.

(Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Tiffany & Co)

In 2017, St. Vincent had already firmly established herself among fashion's highest echelons. Her album Masseducation was a critical darling, but she remained true to her gothic sensibilities with an enviable black wardrobe. She appreciated a prim gown, as seen above, but on stage, St. Vincent tore it up in patent leather and latex bodysuits.

(Photo by Shirlaine Forrest/WireImage)

Who doesn't love a patent pink leotard moment?

(Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

2014 was a huge year for St. Vincent's career — she released her eponymous self-titled album to raving critical adoration and won her first Grammy. Sartorially, her platinum blond hair became a signature look, as she experimented with bright makeup and lots of tiny dresses.

(Photo by John Sciulli/WireImage)

Strange Mercy was released in 2011, and this album put St. Vincent on the map as more than just an indie singer-songwriter. She began honing her style during these years, opting for her natural curly brunette hair texture and simpler, stylish looks with charming idiosyncrasies, like this jeweled suit.

Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

The year was 2009, and the country has just sworn in its first Black president. It was also the age of indie becoming mainstream — not just in record sales, but in fashion as well. Who could forget large, chunky sunglasses and pairing everything with opaque black tights? As she released her first solo record, Marry Me, she looked every part the indie musician of our MySpace dreams.