Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 22 November 2014

St Vincent inspired by naked wander

St Vincent wandered around naked to get inspiration for her new album
St Vincent wandered around naked to get inspiration for her new album

St Vincent has revealed how walking naked through the open countryside in Texas helped inspire a track on her new album.

The 31-year-old singer, whose real name in Annie Clark, spent time on a family friend's cattle ranch while writing her self-titled fourth album, and the opening track Rattlesnake was inspired by her nude wander in the wilderness - and a scary encounter with a snake.

Annie revealed how with no mobile phone reception she decided to strip off and get back to nature.

Describing the countryside she said: "Anyone who has read Cormac McCarthy's The Border Trilogy will know what I mean; the landscape was exactly as he describes in those books - a gigantic sky, scrubland that's not a desert but desert-y, if that makes sense?"

Annie went on: "I wanted to experience what nature felt like. It was really beautiful but then suddenly I heard a sound. My mind went to rationalise it, thinking it might have been the wind or whatever, but there was no wind, it hadn't blown in hours. It was a rattlesnake."

She was "consumed by fear" at the sight of the slithery creature, but must've composed herself long enough to take in the snake's sound and slippery rhythms, before "running off like a Kenyan Olympian" for a medicinal shot of tequila.

"I felt really stupid, telling my friends back at the ranch," she confessed. I did a number of other stupid things, like picking up old cow bones, not knowing that's where anthrax comes from. There were also cows around and I didn't know whether they were going attack me. It dawned on me that without my phone and the internet, I don't know anything."

Annie explained she had an epiphany about the effect of technology on young people.

She added: "There was something very valuable to me in being alone as a teenager. Not physically alone, but alone with your thoughts and going to the far reaches.

"There's a richness there that I wouldn't want to see lost, and I wouldn't say people don't do that now, but it was a lot easier before."

:: St Vincent's self-titled fourth album is out now. She tours the UK from August 19, full dates below

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