Digital Witness

Album: St. Vincent (2014)

Songfacts®:

  • This song finds St. Vincent's Annie Clark tackling her frustration that the Internet is leaving us incapable of living without documenting everything. It is the most vitriolic of several tracks on the St. Vincent album where Clark shares her concerns about the world seen through screens. She sings:

    "If I can't show it
    If you can't see me
    What's the point of doing anything?"

    Clark told Uncut magazine: "A lot of the record touches on this digital reality of total connection, and total lack of connection, where it feels like every day is an episode of Black Mirror. This record is me trying to figure out how to navigate that malaise."
  • Clark described her songwriting process during a Reddit Ask Me Anything as such: "I collect ideas, words, melodies when I'm on the road. When it's time to write an album, I go to work every day. 10-7. Day job!"
  • Clark explained the St. Vincent artwork to NME: "On each of my records, an archetype starts to emerge. On Strange Mercy it was, like, housewife on barbiturates and white wine, and on this one it's near-future cult leader. So that was that visual directive, and I also reference one of my favorite films – The Holy Mountain, the Alejandro Jodorowsky movie. In design, I'm drawn to symmetry and patterns so I wanted to create a visual world that was analogous to the music – not just analogous, but an enhanced musical language."
  • The music video was nominated for three UK Music Video Awards. It was directed by Chino Moya, who also did the Marina and the Diamonds clip for "Froot."
  • Clark took her St. Vincent moniker from a line in the 2004 Nick Cave song "There She Goes, My Beautiful World" about St. Vincent's hospital in Manhattan's Greenwich Village, where a drunk Dylan Thomas passed away.

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