One of the most memorable turns of phrase from the past few years of original rock music has to be "Jesus saves, I spend," from St. Vincent's 2007 debut full-length Marry Me. Born Annie Clark, the 26-year old multi-instrumentalist — who has toured as a guitarist with the Polyphonic Spree and Sufjan Stevens — grew up in the Bible belt and now lives in Brooklyn. She's been making major waves recently, having sold 30,000 copies of her eclectic, passionate debut (which juxtaposed indie rock, gospel, southern folk, jazz and classical music), and she's already getting critical praise for the similarly-pleasing Actor, just out on Beggar's Banquet. Earlier this month, the New York Times said St. Vincent (who sings, plays piano, guitar and even bass at her shows) possesses "the voice and bearing of a retro chanteuse and indie cred." Clark — perhaps the female answer to Andrew Bird — has been writing and performing music half her life, and the intensity and exceptional skill that comes along with that kind of commitment is even more apparent at her shows.
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