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Preview: St. Vincent at House of Blues

Noah Bonaparte Pais on the art-pop singer-songwriter performing Oct. 9



"I can't see the future/ But I know it's got big plans for me," Annie Clark presaged on Actor, her breakthrough second LP as St. Vincent. Clearly, she can. Both her music (convention-defying, anxiety-ridden, digitally enhanced) and self (robotic dance moves, a shock of chameleonic locks, glowing emerald eyes) seem like visionary gifts from the future — or, if you prefer, the past (sub in her classical arrangements and prodigious performances; chanteuse beauty and skin so fair it's not fair). David Bowie famously called Lorde the sound of tomorrow, but it's St. Vincent's yesterday she's channeling. (Please, Mr. Bowie, compare "Royals" to "Landmines.") Clark is rewriting pop history as she goes: Each of her four albums has sat comfortably among their respective best-of lists, even though there's nothing remotely comfortable about them. Marry Me, Actor and Strange Mercy are exquisite, elaborate constructions, high-wire acts hooked by impossible guitar, indelible melody and superb weirdness; together, they form an impressive creative throughput to this, her Champagne year. February's self-titled release is the culmination of everything that came before: spectral-orchestral swells, jarring outbursts and needling solos, emboldened by a new sense of freedom and purpose; strutting singles "Birth in Reverse" and "Digital Witness" reveal a peacock in full plumage. "I prefer your love to Jesus'," she sings, recalling her debut's defiant "Jesus Saves, I Spend," again conflating the heretical and spiritual. Somewhere in between, the porcelain doll on that cover cracked and hatched the alien queen on this one. Matthew E. White opens. Tickets $37 (including fees).

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