There is a reason why St.Vincent’s newest album is called “Actor” instead of “Actress”.
A few years ago, Feist showed us how precious and rare femininity can be in the music industry. It would then spark a revolution in indie music where this time round, a Queen would take the throne.
All of a sudden, Lykke Li, Inara George, Rachael Yamagata and who knows who else all rose from obscurity to claim the crown. Then came a slew of other bands like Bon Iver, Grizzly Bear, Jose Gonzalez, Fleet Foxes, all of whom demonstrated that if a man can pull his pants up high enough, he can sound as sensitive and vulnerable as a sacred feminine. And the ladies fought back by banging heavily on the keyboards, like Little Boots and La Roux, declaring war on electronica, a field previously dominated by men.
Actor is probably a response to all that recent nonsense.
St Vincent is a lady all right, but her weapon of choice is none other than misogynistic electronica. The good thing is, she neither shuns away nor embraces the genre; the fuzzy synthesizers and distortions seem to always run on seperate tracks from her vocals, attacking her sultry smooth singing on all sides. The result is a nice little prize for the listener as she wins us over with charming vulnerability and strength when her vocals continue to stand strong amidst the electronic blitzkreig.
So you don’t need to adopt a certain expression to be tough, and you don’t have to take over someone else’s turf just to be winning. All you have to do is to defend yourself well to emerge victorious.