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Add of the Week: ‘Broken Man’ is a riotous reemergence for St. Vincent

Every Monday, Add of the Week unveils all the new songs going into the 88Nine on-air playlist, with one hand-picked selection put in the spotlight by music director Erin Wolf.

“Hey what are you looking at / who the hell do you think I am,” Annie Clark of St. Vincent asks, lurching out of the shadows for her newest song, “Broken Man.”

Cagey electronic drums lead the listener down a dark, industrial hallway illuminated by Clark’s warbled vocals as electric guitar slashes intermittently until … those electric guitar slashes also step fully out of the dark shadows (along with analog percussion) for a total cold-front effect after the two-minute mark.

The song goes from calculated to riotous, echoing elements of the masterful work of Trent Reznor and Nine Inch Nails all while giving off a little late-Bowie-esque glam. St. Vincent fans should be delighted she’s going full-throttle, and a lot of it has to do with Clark being planted squarely behind the mixing desk.

All Born Screaming (her forthcoming seventh full-length album) is the first time Clark has officially produced a St. Vincent record. For this one, it sounds as though she truly needed to be in the driver’s seat.

“It’s a lot about heaven and hell — the metaphorical kinds,” she stated, “which is appropriate, because sitting alone in a studio for that many hours (I would say) is a version of hell. There are some places, emotionally, that you can only get to by taking the long walk into the woods alone — to find out what your heart is really saying. It sounds real because it is real."

Not formed completely in a vacuum, Clark enlisted Cate Le Bon, Dave Grohl, Rachel Eckroth, Josh Freese and Warpaint's Stella Mogzawa to help flesh out the songs for this new album, which gets its official release to Virgin Music Group on April 26.

The YouTube embed of “Broken Man” is available at the top of the page, and you can hear the track on 88Nine via your FM dial in Milwaukee or streaming worldwide on our website and mobile app.

This week’s other adds

88Nine Music Director / On-Air Talent | Radio Milwaukee