Lyrically, she might choose a thing (prostitution, CCTV surveillance, prescription drugs) and then chew it over in repetitive, often anguished ways, before elevating the mood with a sudden joke. For 18 months or so, until a break-up made public last summer, Clark was going out with Cara Delevingne, arguably the best-known model in the world.
In the museum, while leaning over a glass display of clay death masks and shrunken human heads, we discuss Clark’s scaling achievements as St Vincent.
“Too big to be a lake, too small to be an attraction.” A number of the songs certainly sound as though they pick over the end of a serious relationship, in particular an astonishing meta-epic she has written called LA, which seems to be about a break-up (“How can anybody have you and lose you and not lose their mind, too?
The most recent album, 2014’s St Vincent, was her best to date, a wild, raucous thing, written in part during Ambien-soaked nights on tour, that eventually won her a Grammy.“I don’t love it when musicians speak about their records being ‘diaries’ or ‘therapy’,” she says.“It removes that level of deep instinct and imagination that is necessary in order to make something that transcends.” She adds that such ways of talking too often become “erroneously gendered, in the sense that the assumption from the culture at large is that women only know how to write things autobiographically, or diaristically, which is a sexist way of implying that they lack imagination.” This being said, Clark concedes, “my whole life is in this record.“So far I’ve enjoyed the kind of success where I might get, like, a free appetiser sent to my table,” Clark says.“And that’s awesome, I’m thrilled by that.” She fixes a level gaze before adding: “But it’s never a main.” A word about her hair.