Reviews

St. Vincent Reimagines “New York” With the Help of Yoshiki

As 2020 drags on, fans of St. Vincent have been anticipating a new album on the horizon. And while there is no word on a new project quite yet, Annie Clark hasn’t kept quiet. Instead, on August 28, St. Vincent and Yoshiki gave us a timeless reworking of “New York,” the lead single that catapulted her 2017 record Masseduction into the mainstream.

As she has been known to restructure “New York” here and there, this time she teamed up with Japanese musician/composer/producer Yoshiki from the band X Japan to douse a vintage feel for the track. This version is gracefully aged in the classically inspired arrangements that Yoshiki is known for. Causing a new layer of textures to emerge, the once piano-ballad turned pulsing club mix has become an orchestral flow of swooping notes and flushed strings that seem to mourn as Clark’s vocals swirl. Utilizing an archetypal timelessness, Clark changes lyrics like “only motherf*cker” into “only other sucker” to make sure nothing takes the listener out of the classic arrangement. The transformation packs a greater punch when heard in the context of a pandemic that swept NYC up so heavily that people were fleeing the city in droves. The opening lines, “New York isn’t New York without you, ” is just another eerie reminder of what occurred over the course of the summer.

When discussing the song’s drop, St. Vincent compared this re-signatured version of “New York” to “the way time or distance transform longtime friends or relationships: the original is still recognizable, but subtly and significantly altered.”

Yoshiki, himself, added: “As an artist, I admire how St. Vincent approaches music in an innovative and courageous way. Her music breaks the boundaries of genres, which is a mindset I can completely relate to. In terms of ‘New York,’ it’s a great song to start with, and I’m grateful that she trusted me to fully rearrange the song with my classical approach. I hope St. Vincent’s fans enjoy it, and that my fans will, too.”

Give the timeless St. Vincent and Yoshiki reworking of “New York” a spin and let us know how you feel about the classical version of the famous track.

Featured Image: Instagram (St_Vincent)

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