It’s hard to believe that St Vincent has been around for 15 years now. Her unique blend of Art Pop and Classic Rock hasn’t seen any dramatic changes during her career, and yet her style hasn’t worn off either. In fact, Vincent’s style is arguably more relevant now than it was in 2007, with the massive resurgence in popularity for some of her main influences, like David Bowie or Kate Bush. It would be easy for her to just coast on the sound of “Masseduction” and ride another wave of positive reviews and good sales. And yet, she decided to take notes from her idols by keeping one step ahead of the curve once again on her latest single.
“Pay Your Way in Pain” is a funk and disco track at its core. However, Vincent takes these influences in a bit of a different direction than the smooth and sleek Nu-Disco of Dua Lipa or Jessie Ware. Her take on funk is a bit more raw, reminiscent of Parliament-Funkadelic, who mixed rock and dance music in a way very similar to what Vincent is doing here.
In an interview with The Guardian Vincent likened her newest track to a blues song. This is surprisingly apt as well, since, under the rollicking beat and bass, the song is ultimately about struggle, more so than celebration. The effect is uplifting without being schmaltzy, a song about getting back up and out there despite your struggles. The song was almost certainly recorded prior to the pandemic and postponed, but it’s still easy to draw a comparison to our slow and troubled exit from… well you know.
St. Vincent has done it again, at least for this one song. It will be interesting to see how she expands this sound into a whole album. “Daddy’s Home,” (a reference to her father’s return from jail) will be released on May 14th of this year.