Or just reasons to love him. (From the POV of a Yoongi stan)
raps faster than the speed of light. hella control over his voice
plays the piano
amazing on stage; in his element
his mixtape saved hiphop. saved lives. saved the world goddamn Yoongi
AGUSTD - Intro: Dt sugA (ft. DJ Friz) - AgustD - give it to me -skit -724148 -140503 at dawn -The Last -Tony Montana (ft. Yankie) -Interlude ; Dream, Reality -so far away (ft. Suran)
he produced the entire thing. it didn’t feel like individual tracks on an album. it felt very complete, in a way i’ve never seen before.
released this masterpiece to the world for free; on soundcloud, on a google drive, on mediafire, on spotify…
He had no problematic lyrics on his mixtape. He doesn’t imitate or glorify modern American hiphop. There are no meaningless lyrics, no misogyny, no materialism or racial slurs. Instead, he talks about himself and builds on that.
worked on his mixtape in between his schedule. sometimes while on the plane, sometimes while working on other music for BTS.
Has a polar bear protection bracelet. Really likes polar bears.
was the happiest person in the world when he met Kumamon it was all too adorable
Very socially aware. Wants to use his fame to shift people’s attention to global problems.
When he and Taehyung got sick and were rushed to the hospital, they ended up having to cancel the concert in Kobe. During his vacation time, he went to the stadium they were supposed to perform in by himself and wrote a post about it in the fancafe. He sat in the seats of the stadium and forced himself to imagine the fans’ emotions on the day that was supposed to be the concert. He wrote a long apology. He felt so guilty it kept him awake every night since the incident. He didn’t know what else to do. He promised never to let the fans down again and to work harder.
works from from 12 am - 6 am on music. even after a full day of training or concert preparation or filming. only to sleep for 2 or 3 hours or not at all to start the next day. sleeps whenever he gets the chance. gives the day’s events his full energy regardless.
when BTS had to pack for their backpacking trip through Europe, he was the one that remembered to pack medicine and first aid supplies. he cleaned up before leaving the hotel room. helped cook. was in charge of their budget.
wrote/composed/produced some of BTS’s best songs: -Tomorrow -Nevermind -Intro (HYYH pt. 1) -Dead Leaves -Fun Boyz -Just One Day -Let Me Know -Paldogangsan (with Hoseok & Namjoon) -Cypher pt 1, 2, & 3 (with Hoseok & Namjoon)
participates in the making of almost every BTS song
he looks gorgeous in every hair colour he’s literally so beautiful
once said he would sue Bighit if his hair started falling out lmao
his smile that shows his gums
laughs in 10 different ways
his voice sounds beautiful in Whalien52 aka one of my favourite songs
in the song “Move” he dedicated his section to his mom, who was sick after she gave birth to him
in “If I ruled the world” he dreams, if he could have anything, it would be to buy a house for his family
danced around his studio in the early hours of the morning when “Nevermind” was approved to be the intro of HYYH pt.2
really likes lamb skewers. Wants to open a lamb skewer restaurant with Jungkook
his only goal is to make music that gives people emotions (comfort). the root of his passion, goes back to when he started making music at the age of 13.
his dream was to perform at Olympic Gymnastics Arena. At the end of the concert, he looked for his parents and brother in the crowd. When he saw them, he smiled and got on the floor to do a deep bow, the kind where your forehead touches the ground. This is when he sobbed for the first time at a concert.
at fansigns, fans get to write them a question. “What’s more important? Face or body?” is asked a lot, not just to BTS but all Kpop groups. Yoongi is the only one that writes a third option, “Personality” and circles it and writes that it is the most important. He does this every time the question comes up.
When given the question, “What type of girl?” or “What type of style do you like in a girl?” He circles all of them.
his ideal type is someone who likes music and someone he can communicate with. there are never any other specifications.
when asked for the ideal weight in a girl, he writes a ridiculous number
when asked what age difference he would date, he wrote “81 years” lol
tells everyone to eat well and take care of themselves. loves his fans more than anything.
extremely open-minded person
when he and Namjoon were being disrespected by Bfree during an interview, he stayed calm and handled the situation well. Then proceeded to drAG THE HELL OUT OF HIM IN CYPHER PT. 2
the “S” in Suga stands for “Savage”
literally sarcastic all the time
“If we’re talking about regrets you should think of some of your past selcas” - to Jimin
king of “I meant to do that”
the time he and Hoseok reacted to a “Try not to laugh challenge” of their own members and Yoongi laughed so hard he choked
his existence is pretty much art in itself
the thing he does when his members are doing something embarrassing and he just curls up and covers his face
“Min Suga. Genius. Those two words should be enough. *shrugs*”
“I want to reincarnate and be a rock in my next lifetime”
“I’m Father Louis Williams Suga Adams the Third”
“I’m good at doing ugly stuff”
“I was destined to be taller, but there were some errors in my development.”
“I’d like to introduce you to my lover…this neckpillow"
“I’ve always wanted to nap in a different country”
on his first birthday after he debuted, he spent his own money to make small gifts for his fans and hand-wrote over 300 notes for the fans that were going to come to see him on his birthday. he spent a long time because he wanted to make each note different. at the event, he got embarrassed because “it’s not much but I hope you all like it”. he learned that instead of 300, 350 came and he made 50 more to send to them.
the next year, he made packages again but this time with transportation cards so the fans could use them when they came to see them. hand-written letters again, signed polaroids and ordered special envelopes.
gave Jimin his credit card to charge the passes with, and when Jimin jokingly said he’s going to spend his money on snacks, Yoongi unhesitatingly said “Okay”
he did something again this year, but just didn’t vlog about it.
took pictures of Jungkook at his graduation like he was a proud parent
the time when he and Hoseok lost a game and didn’t get dinner. Jimin brought them a crab from their table, and Yoongi let Hoseok have it. “Seeing my dongsaeng eat makes me feel full."
Bangtan love him. They say Yoongi takes care of them well, especially his dongsaengs. He’s the one that silently takes care of them all.
The time Yoongi took Jimin out to eat sushi, and while Jimin was tying his shoes, Yoongi paid and told him they could go. "Of course, I’m the hyung."
says his members are his closest friends. says Bighit is like a family
when Hoseok was celebrating New Years alone in the dorms, Yoongi left his family and showed up with chicken just so Hoseok wouldn’t have to spend new years by himself
Maschine mk2 review what a nerd
that time he tried to install a music editing software and ranted for 10 years on the fancafe because technology is problematic
that one time Yoongi got really passionate about coffee and said he needed 309 people to help him "catch” coffee
does reviews and gives insight on all of BTS’s albums
the time he sang his heart out with Hoseok for “I was able to eat well” and sounded terrible
the time they had a high note challenge and Yoongi sang so “high” that no noise came out
so extra. all the time.
“the director said it would only take 5 minutes. It’s been exactly 4 minutes and 58 seconds"
that time he had to introduce himself and pulled confetti out of his pocket and threw it over himself
but also unamused
he is a paradox
“I want to go baaaaaaaack”
easily put in his place by Jin, his hyung. But also ignores all of his jokes.
cannot dance for his life (literally flailing in DOPE) but is a really good dancer (FIRE ????)
he just works hard
unhesitatingly kicked Jimin in the balls when he started dancing over his legs while he was trying to sleep. didn’t even wake up.
that time Taehyung was really nervous on stage and kept stuttering and messing up his words. the members laughed and poked fun at him, but Yoongi shushed them and the audience and told Taehyung to breathe and relax and start again. This time Taehyung didn’t stutter
literally a deadass person at the awards show until Namjoon was up next to perform and Yoongi couldn’t stop being hyped and looking for him
makes fun of his members all the time but always makes sure they’re comfortable
witty but never crude
says he’s not always the best at expressing himself verbally, but wants everyone to know he is always thankful
kindest, bravest, strongest person to ever grace this earth. blesses the lives of everyone he touches
There are certain things I didn’t include in there, because they are a part of his mixtape and I think that speaks for itself.
Dedicate 2017 to Carrie Fisher. Do what space mom would have done. She never gave up and she wouldn’t want you to either. She’d want you to go and fight Donald Trump and use lots of emojis while doing it.
shoutout to Rapmon for helping to write and compose 10/15 tracks on the album and slaying every single one of them
shoutout to Jhope for writing and composing the intro and his own solo track, which he dedicated to his mother. how often do you see a kpop idol or a rapper dedicate his very first solo track to his mom?
shoutout to Suga for making 2016 his bitch with his fire mixtape and now his solo track. he keeps fuckin killin it
shoutout to Jimin for composing and writing his own solo song and for being the 2nd highest track on melon chart after their title song!!!!
shoutout to V for composing and writing his solo track too, and WHO KNEW HE COULD HIT SUCH FUCKIN HIGH NOTES? HOLY SHIT NOT ME FAM IM STILL SHOOK
shoutout to Jin foralso composing and writing his solo song which was as beautiful as he is. and even though he had no solo verses in Blood Sweat Tears, Awake more than made up for it
shoutout to Jungkook, even though he didn’t get any individual credit in the album, he still had a big chunk of lines in all of their group songs
shoutout to BTS for coming back stronger every single comeback and blowing all of our expectations away and for slaying all the fucking music charts, yet always staying humble like the fucking princes of kpop they are
highlights of wings concert
1. hoseoks entire mama performance
1.5. when all the bright colors and music shut off in the mama performance and hoseok did that intense emotional part dedicated to his mom in complete darkness and silence before the beat dropped and the colors came backand the CHURCH CHOIR anyways
2. cypher pt 4 ???? with the gaudy jewelry and tinted glasses and velvet robes like????? jst the most cocky rich look ever and i lived for it
2.5. yoongi staring at his big ass golden rolex watch timing his verse
3. the entire spring day choreography with them leaning on each other and running together and helping each other and inventing friendship
Some more rambling about the intersection of pro and fanfic
One of my writing communities had a thread on fanfic the other day. It started with an innocent question asking people’s thoughts on stories that originated as fanfic and later turned into pro fic. The thread got ugly quick. Fanfic is intellectual theft! Only for the intellectually bankrupt! One guy said he notes ex-fanfic authors and refuses to read them. Another poster said they make a point to leave negative reviews on “de-fanficed” stories. Yikes!
They must hate Laurie King’s Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes mysteries, then. Also Clueless, and many of Chuck Wendig’s books. Hell, Jane Smiley’s novel A Thousand Acres is a modernized AU retelling of King Lear, and it won the 1992 Pulitzer Prize for Literature. Despite all of this, it’s clear that anti-fanfic bias persists in many communities, probably because fandom tends to be judged by its worst output, not by its best.
I had an unusual path to publishing in that I did not first get a literary agent, so I showed up at the publisher essentially unvetted–part of the great unwashed slush pile, if you will. The Publishing Director asked me in that first phone call, somewhat amazed, “Where did you come from?”
I hesitated a beat but I told her the truth. “X-Files fanfic.”
All those hours of writing, the critique back and forth with writers smarter than I, and the notes of encouragement from readers helped me learn to tell a story. Maybe this does make me an intellectual thief, as I stole away with all this rich newfound knowledge, but I will forever be a grateful one.
For years, the Grammy winner was best known for her experimental music. Then dating Cara Delevingne put her in the spotlight. What’s next, asks Tom Lamont?
Saturday 19 August 2017 06.00 EDT
The musician St Vincent, a 34-year-old Texan whose real name is Annie Clark, is talking about body piercings. Though her outfit today includes such exotic items as a leopardskin onesie and a pink blazer made of some sort of wetsuit fabric, Clark doesn’t have any outlandish piercings herself; she just has droll and strong opinions about them, as she has droll and strong opinions about a lot of things.
“Didn’t it always make you laugh,” Clark says, already laughing, softly, in the museum in London where we meet one summer afternoon, “how people in the 90s who had, like, tongue rings? How they’d always make some sort of comment, intimating that it made them, like, better at oral sex? That was the whole wink-wink thing, right? That a tongue ring meant they were kinda kinky? But then, I guess the challenge – because they were constantly fidgeting with this gross thing in their mouth! I guess the challenge became: no one wanted to get head from them.” She hoots with amusement, just loud enough to turn heads in the hushed museum.
Conversation with Clark is like this: a bit unexpected, a bit arch, a bit sexy. She sometimes speaks so slowly and carefully it’s as if she’s reviewing individual words before committing to them. But, as with the lyrics of the songs she writes as St Vincent – always inventive, always making disarming leaps between ideas – you can never predict where her thinking will travel next. Quickly the chat about oral sex gives way to the matter of her own death, and her expectations of a brisk cremation. Before I know quite how, she’s got me talking about an irrational fear of being buried alive. “Get cremated!” she urges.
I ask Clark – who will soon release her fifth solo album, a follow-up to 2014’s self-titled St Vincent – why she suggested we meet in London’s Wellcome Collection, to combine our interview with a tour around the museum’s collection of antique medical equipment. Clark peers with interest at a display of old enema syringes and explains that in every unfamiliar city, “you should try to see something real and strange”. It was something the Talking Heads frontman David Byrne once advised her about touring the world, and she’s stuck to it ever since.
So far I’ve enjoyed the kind of success where I might get a free appetiser sent to my table. But it’s never a main
That phrase – “real and strange” – describes Clark’s appeal as a musician. She is a generational talent on guitar, one of those poised, unperspiring types who can do the manually ludicrous while hardly appearing to try. Seen live, Clark’s fingers flit over the strings of her instrument with utmost precision – that’s the real in her. The strange comes via the writing and the composition, which on her four St Vincent albums since 2007 have tended towards the experimental and jagged-edged. Lyrically, she might choose a thing (prostitution, CCTV surveillance, prescription drugs) and then chew it over in repetitive, often anguished ways, before elevating the mood with a sudden joke. “Oh, what an ordinary day!” she sang on a track from her last album. “Take out the garbage… Masturbate.”
Genre labels won’t stick to her. Song to song, Clark might channel Björk then Iron Maiden, then belt out a disco number before pretending to be a fey, shoe-gazing whisper-singer. In the manner of FKA twigs or Héloïse “Christine and the Queens” Letissier, she is a performance artist as much as she is a performer; last year Clark played a gig dressed as a toilet, complete with cistern, protruding bowl and flush. And like twigs, who for many years has been in a relationship with the Twilight actor Robert Pattinson, Clark has managed to cultivate a shadowy, unknowable persona while at the same time dating a wildly high-profile superstar. For 18 months or so, until a break-up made public last summer, Clark was going out with Cara Delevingne, arguably the best-known model in the world.
St Vincent and Glass Animals play in London, February 2014. Photograph: London News Pictures/Rex
In the museum, while leaning over a glass display of clay death masks and shrunken human heads, we discuss Clark’s scaling achievements as St Vincent. From album to album, over a decade, her sales as well as her reviews have improved in happy tandem. The most recent album, 2014’s St Vincent, was her best to date, a wild, raucous thing, written in part during Ambien-soaked nights on tour, that eventually won her a Grammy. “It sounds like a very Pollyanna-ish thing to say,” Clark says, “but my ethos has always been to just make the music that I hear in my head. And I’ve been incredibly lucky, so far, that that’s seemed to correspond to external progress.”
Where does she place herself right now in the music industry? “So far I’ve enjoyed the kind of success where I might get, like, a free appetiser sent to my table,” Clark says. “And that’s awesome, I’m thrilled by that.” She fixes a level gaze before adding: “But it’s never a main.”
A word about her hair. Three years ago, while touring and promoting that self-titled record, Clark had a fantastic and unforgettable do – a triangular mountain of silver-bleached curls that made her look, in her own words, “like a scary cult leader”. I half-expected her to show up that way today, under the same teetering pile of silver, but Clark says the bleach killed off that haircut years back. She had to shear off her frazzled curls, “and then my look was less cult leader, more ‘Why do you have a rodent on your head?’”
She has a flair for naming her own haircuts, having cycled through such past constructions as “the Audrey Hepburn with anger issues” and “the Nick Cave minus the receding hairline”, and when I ask about the straightened black parting she has today, Clark decides: “I want to call this one… the Lara-Flynn-Boyle-in-the-90s.”
She isn’t quite such a speedy creator of names for her albums. The new LP still doesn’t have a title. I’ve heard about two-thirds of it and it’s superb – the same appealing, enigmatic, genre-spliced collision of ideas and influences that St Vincent fans cherish, only this time with a sleeker, more accessible through-line that ought to further expand her listenership. Some of the tracks, such as the scratchy, stirring Hang On Me, would work as well over the titles of a grand HBO drama as played through fizzing speakers in a dive bar. There are moments of peculiar, wonderful poetry. “Sometimes I feel like an inland ocean,” Clark sings, on a track called Smoking Section. “Too big to be a lake, too small to be an attraction.”
A number of the songs certainly sound as though they pick over the end of a serious relationship, in particular an astonishing meta-epic she has written called LA, which seems to be about a break-up (“How can anybody have you and lose you and not lose their mind, too?”), while at the same time being about a fiercely avant garde musician’s reluctance to do anything as obvious as write about a break-up. “I guess that’s just me, honey, I guess that’s how I’m built,” Clark sings, “I try to write you a love song but it comes out in a melt.”
Delevingne would be the most likely identity of “honey” here. But Clark is far too cool in person – and too determinedly non-specific as a lyricist – to admit to anything like that. “I don’t love it when musicians speak about their records being ‘diaries’ or ‘therapy’,” she says. “It removes that level of deep instinct and imagination that is necessary in order to make something that transcends.” She adds that such ways of talking too often become “erroneously gendered, in the sense that the assumption from the culture at large is that women only know how to write things autobiographically, or diaristically, which is a sexist way of implying that they lack imagination.”
This being said, Clark concedes, “my whole life is in this record. And this is one of the first interviews I’ve done about it. And I guess I haven’t 100% figured out how to talk about it. I mean…” She laughs suddenly, a brilliant, solemnity-shattering hoot. Clark is aware there will be an assumption that a lot of her new songs are about her ex. “I’ve really got to figure this out, right? If I’m going to ever be able to talk about the record?”
As is her custom whenever she’s finalising an album, Clark has currently placed herself in what she calls “deep nun mode”. Single. Work-focused. “Completely monastic. Sober, celibate – full nun.” I’m pretty sure she’s joking when she adds, in her slow, funny, unpredictable way, “I mean there are always sex plans. But none for, like, a month.”
Photograph: Arcin Sagdic for the Guardian
Clark was born in 1982, briefly an Oklahoman before her parents separated and Clark relocated with her mother and two older sisters to a suburb of Dallas, Texas. “My mom was a social worker. She dedicated her life to doing very admirable things. One of my sisters more or less followed on that path, making the world a better place. But I did not.” Though Clark would see her father during school holidays, she describes her teenage years as “matri-focal”. She was surrounded mostly by women. “And Mom’s mantra was: ‘We girls can do anything.’ She didn’t explicitly call it feminism, but it was baked into our DNA.”
Her mother had a quirky, creative streak.
Once, after she’d accidentally crashed the family car, she was so intrigued by the aesthetics of the wreck, she climbed out to take photographs of it. “There was probably a picture taken of me and my sisters every day of our childhood. Have I seen any of those pictures? No. Has she gotten them developed? Mostly not. It was just her way of feeling safe, I guess, as if things would last for ever because she had documentation of it.”
Is Clark the same in her songwriting? Documenting and so holding on to vanishing events and feelings? “I’m trying to get rid of things,” Clark laughs. “I’m trying to expel them.”
We walk to Regent’s Park, where the warm weather and an outdoor art show have drawn a milling crowd. A sculpture installed by the park entrance resembles a tall pile of replica footballs. Fitting, as Clark was quite a player when she was young, soccer one of an eclectic assembly of high-school interests. “I was probably insufferable. I was the president of the theatre club, the kid who put Bertrand Russell quotes on their wall.” When I ask who her friends were at the time, she does not hesitate: “Oh, the sluts and the weirdos.”
Clothes from a selection, garethpughstudio.com. Styling: Priscilla Kwateng. Stylist’s assistant: Stanislava Sihelska. Hair: Stephen Beaver at Artists & Company. Makeup: Dele Olo. Photograph: Arcin Sagdic for the Guardian
Music was her main obsession. “I was a 10-year-old fan of Pearl Jam and Nirvana, and I would’ve got into a fistfight defending them. Art mattered.” Her maternal uncle, Tuck Andress, was a touring musician, half of a jazz duo called Tuck & Patti, and during the summer Clark graduated from high school he gave her a job assisting his band on tour. Clark enrolled at a music college in Boston after that and lasted a couple of years before dropping out and heading back out on the road, this time as a musician in her own right. She toured successfully as part of the expansive, experimental band the Polyphonic Spree and later as a guitarist for Sufjan Stevens.
She’s always been a political liberal – these days, one in mourning over last November’s election (“I feel like we watched America vote on their daddy issues”) as well as the reign of President Trump, a man she refers to as “a cartoon yeast infection”. As early as her teenage years, Clark had to get accustomed to the fact that a great many political and social norms, predominant in the suburbs where she grew up, were not her norms.
She believes in the essential fluidity of sexuality and of gender. (“Boys!” she sings on a new track called Sugarboy, “I am a lot like you. Girls! I am a lot like you.”) “The mutability of gender and sexuality, as you can probably imagine – that was not a prevalent subject in the suburbs of Dallas when I was growing up. Not even a little bit! And no shade on it now. I love Texas, I’m there all the time seeing family. But I was always gonna get out of there. It felt imperative that I get out of there.”
I can only write about my life, and dating Cara was a big part of my life
In her 20s she moved to New York, borrowing the name St Vincent from one of the city’s hospitals, by way of its mention in a Nick Cave song. (St Vincent’s hospital was where “Dylan Thomas died drunk”, as Cave sang in There She Goes, My Beautiful World.) She released a debut record called Marry Me in 2007 and toured it through Europe to dispiritingly inattentive audiences, carrying away from London a special memory of “playing in a pub where you definitely couldn’t hear me over the crowd”. Between her next couple of records, Actor (2009) and Strange Mercy (2011), her career really started to take off. She performed on US chatshows; wrote and wrote; founded an influential creative relationship with Byrne, after he approached her at one of her gigs. “I was kind of stunned,” Byrne later said, of seeing Clark play guitar for the first time. The pair would collaborate on a celebrated 2012 album, Love This Giant.
By the time her 2014 album won the Grammy for best alternative album, Clark was entitled to ask, as she did ask: “Alternative to what?” Prince came to one of her shows, and she was invited to guest-guitar for the surviving members of Nirvana, later for Taylor Swift. As an award nominee at the Brits in spring 2015, Clark came and went on the arm of Delevingne – and pretty much overnight her public persona became a curious, split thing. As St Vincent, she was a fiercely respected musician, patiently fattening a fanbase in the most honourable way, by writing and recording and touring hard. As the “secret girlfriend” (Metro) who was “secretly dating” (Mirror) Delevingne, she was tabloid feed. Clark saw first-hand what it was like for somebody she cared about to be “hounded, hassled, hacked – all of that stuff”.
‘Certain levels of fame are unenviable’: with Talking Heads’ David Byrne
“Having seen certain levels of fame,” Clark tells me, “having been, y’know, fame adjacent… That in and of itself seems very hectic to me. If it’s a natural byproduct of doing what it is you love? Then great. But there are certain levels of fame that I’ve seen, just by proxy, that are unenviable.”
If the upward trend of her music continues, she might find herself in a similar place, whether willed or not. Clark shrugs. “I can’t control any of that stuff. So what am I gonna do? I’m just gonna keep making music. I know this is another Pollyanna answer, but it’s about the music. Did I write better songs than on the last album? Did I sing them better? Did I play better guitar? Did I connect?”
Maybe it was that I heard a low-quality version of the track, but on a new-album song called Pills there was a minor failure to connect. I misheard the song as having a lyric about somebody being “defamed by fame”, something I took to refer to Clark’s 18-month stretch in a celebrity relationship and all the demeaning wrangling with paparazzi and gossip bloggers that must have entailed. Clark looks panicked and says, no, the lyric was about someone being “de-fanged by fame… What I was referring to was that people’s art sometimes suffers when they get into that too-big-to-fail mindset. How things get really boring when people get too risk-averse, or too comfortable, or when they have overheads that are too high.” She can’t seem to get my mishearing of the lyric out of her head, though. “Oh!” she says eventually. “Maybe ‘defamed by fame’ is better?”
For a moment she seems to be wondering how quickly she can sprint to Heathrow from here, and fly back to America to rerecord it. In the end she decides she’ll let listeners hear what they want to hear. “There is no way to control how people perceive a song. And if you try to, my God, are you in for a sisyphean task.”
In the park we walk up a promenade between neatly manicured flowerbeds. When we settle on a bench, Clark seems overawed. “This is so beautiful,” she says. “I love this. Do you know how hard we’d have to work, in the States, to keep something this beautiful this beautiful?”
With former partner Cara Delevingne in September 2015. Photograph: Dave Benett/Getty Images for Burberry
She’s now ready to address the Delevingne quandary. When the new record is out, reference to her ex will be exhaustively scoured for – it’s already started to happen, as when Clark released a single called New York in June, and Vice responded with a think-piece: “Is St Vincent’s new track a love song for Cara Delevingne?” Nobody trawled through her past writing about CCTV surveillance, or masturbation, in quite that way. “Nuh uh,” Clark says.
She takes a breath. “Right! Um. I’ve always kept my writing close to the vest. And by that I mean I’m always gonna write about my life. Sometimes, in the past, I did that way more obliquely than now. But it’s almost like an involuntary reflex. I can’t help but be living and also taking notes on what’s going on, always trying to figure out how to put that into a song. And that does not mean there’s literal truth in every lyric on the way. Of course not. But I can only write about my life, and that – dating Cara – was a big part of my life. I wouldn’t take it off-limits, just because my songs might get extra scrutiny. People would read into them what they would, and you know what? Whatever they thought they found there would be absolutely right. And at the same time it would be absolutely wrong.”
Clark looks out across the park. “A song that means something very specific to me, a song in which I might be obliquely or otherwise exploring some really dark things, is a song that another person might hear and go: ‘Wow, this one really puts a smile on my face.’ I’m thrilled by that. I’m thrilled that people might take my songs into their life and make whatever suits them out of it.”
Clark nods: done. She lets her gaze travel over the park, over the sculptures in the distance, a couple of which look like giant ice-cream cones.
Earlier, she said that she’d got to a point in her career where strangers would send over free starters. If this new album does as well it should, I start to say… “I know, right?” Clark interrupts. “If I play my cards right? With this album? I might – get dessert.” She hoots.
• St Vincent’s new single, New York, is out now through Loma Vista/Caroline International.
• Opening photograph by Arcin Sagdic for The Guardian