“I feel the 1970s are very similar to where we are now,” St. Vicent explained ahead of her latest album, “…We are playing around in the smoldering bricks trying to figure out what we are going to be doing next.” St. Vincent’s description of the ‘70s and our current world may be depressing, but there’s a sense of comedic apathy in the interviews and lyrics coming from the artist’s funk and glam-inspired Daddy’s Home. “It’s just the melting of the sun,” she sings on the album’s fifth track, turning the ever-important star’s death into a casual moment within a chaotic world.
Daddy’s Home was born as St. Vincent’s, or Annie Clark’s, father was released from prison. It’s easy to find the stories of Clark’s experience woven throughout the album, but her lyrics often take on more than one meaning as gritty instrumentals drip around them. On “Pay Your Way In Pain,” the singer’s words are personal, with its title and chorus accepting pain as part of life. But at other points, the song reflects COVID era disruption as Clark describes empty grocery stores and social tension. This is the conflict of Daddy’s Home, personal struggle within global struggle.
St. Vincent’s latest album may tout itself as a throw-back, a homage to the sleazy and grimy aesthetics of the 1970s, but the project’s muggy atmosphere of maximalist instrumentals and surreal lyricism feels timeless. Chaos, unfortunately, exists in any era, and it will exist beyond Clark’s connection between the ‘70s and now. But there’s a comfort found in the artist’s embrace of this chaos. Daddy’s Home is an album that calmly sits next to personal yet universal struggles without presenting solutions. Instead, it watches them while guitars riff in the background. It accepts the chaos, then waits for change.