St. Vincent: Photos From the Billboard Cover Shoot

“Did you come in when I was dressed like a sperm?”

Despite her wry tone, Annie Clark — the artist better known as St. Vincent — isn’t joking. Not quite an hour earlier, Clark was posing for her Billboard photo shoot in a hooded, ruffled cream mini-dress in front of a billowing blush-pink backdrop meant to evoke a different bit of human anatomy. (Let’s just say the setup was a spiritual descendant of Georgia O’Keeffe’s work.)

As St. Vincent, Clark conjures an enigmatic, opaque aura. But today, she’s in a frank, funny and freewheeling mood. She jests about the suggestive pictures of female models plastered on the walls around us (“Boner patrol, look out!”) and swerves easily from topics highbrow (abstract Russian painter Kazimir Malevich) to low (an off-and-on gamer, she was briefly obsessed with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild). Clark chose to soundtrack her shoot with David Bowie’s coke-fueled 1976 classic, Station to Station, and as we gush over it, the singer-songwriter gives her beige Prada jacket a little shake. “I do like to think this trench coat is giving ‘Dancing in the Street,’ ” she says, referencing the outrageously ’80s music video for Bowie and Mick Jagger’s hit cover. “Minus the cocaine.”

Much like Clark herself, St. Vincent’s Grammy Award-winning output — which has run the gamut from twee indie to ass-­kicking art-rock to conceptual electropop — is an arresting mix of the intellect and the id. Her latest album, All Born Screaming, can be experienced as an atavistic staring contest with existence — or simply as a rippin’ alt-rock record.

Read the full 2024 Billboard Pride cover story here.

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