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“Every record I make has an archetype,” says Annie Clark, the creative force behind St. Vincent. “Strange Mercy was Housewives on Pills. St. Vincent was Near-Future Cult Leader. MASSEDUCTION is different, it’s pretty first person. You can’t fact-check it, it’s not a diary entry, but if you want to know about my life, listen to this record.”
MASSEDUCTION is a bold, emotional reckoning largely themed around power. Or as Clark specifies, “All the forces that can swallow you whole.”
The album came at a pivotal point in her life. Clark’s previous album, St. Vincent, won her breakout acclaim plus performances on the season finale of SNL and with a reconstituted Nirvana for their induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The album landed on several album-of-the-year lists (among them, Pitchfork, New York Times, and Rolling Stone), culminating in Clark’s first GRAMMY nomination and win for Best Alternative Music Album. Around the same time, her personal life was thrust into tabloids. The mass seduction she writes of includes notoriety and beauty, but it also basks in intoxicating distractions such as pills, sex, and sorrow.