St. Vincent Clashes Intelligence with Fear on ‘MASSEDUCTION’

By: Kyle Saavedra//



What do you get when you mix social critique, sexual kinks, and synth-heavy 80’s beats? Possibly one of the most definitive records of the 21st century. On MASSEDUCTION, St. Vincent crafts an LP that dissects modern American culture through a plastic lens and sheds light on intimate revelations. In fact, in an interview with i-D, Vincent states that MASSEDUCTION is “dominatrix at the mental institution” but “very absurd too,” which couldn’t be farther from the truth.

The record opens with somber track “Hang On Me,” which centers around the tragic line “You and me, we’re not meant for this world.” This one line lays the hidden foundation for the work, as some of the most up-beat songs on the record are shrouded in harsh societal truths and a desire to escape them. “Pills” acts as the first critique on the pharmaceutical impact on Americans, juxtaposing a jingly chorus with verses that describe the effects of prescription drugs. Title-track “Masseduction” elaborates on Vincent’s ideas in “Pills” bringing a greater message about obsession and seduction through vices to the table. With robotic voices and Vincent’s sultry vocals, you feel as though you are transported into a not-so-distant future.

Photo Credit: Loma Vista Recordings

“Sugarboy” and “Los Ageless” paint the chaotic stem of MASSEDUCTION, with rapid synth-beats and lyrics that bite as they leave Vincent’s lips. The tracks are a nice one-two punch before the piece takes a dramatic turn on “Happy Birthday, Johnny,” an ode to Vincent’s responsibility for past mistakes. It is moments like these where the audience receives a fresh insight to the mind of the artist, and Vincent bares all on this track to much success. “New York,” the lead single for the album, is another mellow ballad that will evoke longing for a long-lost lover in any listener, as the lyrics “But for you darling, I’d do it all again” hold immense nostalgic value.

Perhaps the greatest stand-out track on the album is “Fear the Future,” where all of Vincent’s philosophies and ideas about American culture, politics, and sex collide into a burst of uncertainty. Letting the audience know that she herself still ponders the future of the world grounds the record in such a unique way, making it accessible to both previous and new fans.

Moreover, Vincent’s ability to transport the audience across a myriad of moods on MASSEDUCTION stands as a feat of its own. Many artists spend lifetimes attempting to write a record that is self-aware and socially-active, but Vincent manages to do both without appearing desperate for attention. With striking neon visuals and thought-provoking interviews accompanying the record, audiences understand that Vincent doesn’t just intend to put out a solid LP this year – she also wants to dominate your mind. Vincent will tempt you with the sweetest fruits of the music industry you’ll find this decade, so make sure to take a bite and enter MASSEDUCTION.

Featured Image: Nedda Afsari