Don’t be deceived by the doe-eyed luminosity of Annie Clark’s (a.k.a St. Vincent) pallid face, nestled in the confusion of her soft brown curls. Actor takes on the sensibility of binaries: from the album’s (palatable) sweet allure of ambiguity down to its last smack of bitterness as you consume it in its entirety. Album cover alone, you can’t tell whether she’s witnessing the blossoming serenity of cherry blossoms or if she’s watching humanity’s apocalyptic fate take place from a distance.
Actor is beautiful as it is strange. The pleasantries of pop tunes infused with a lingering darkness, the subtle silhouette of eeriness. A brush of familiarity lures you in, curious critter that you are; while the innocent frailty of her voice anesthetizes the precarious note that tips the song over to the desolate forests where many of the characters in her songs can be found lurking in the shadows. St. Vincent testifies to the harrowing chaotic grace of our mundane lives. Slowed down in frames of patient renderings of muted emotion and restraint, somewhere between the stark la-la-la of sanity, a heavy riff intrudes; the estranged banter of madness makes itself known.