ST. VINCENT > Actor

Label: 4AD

Rating: ★★★★☆

Annie Clark proved her worth as a solo artist with 2007’s Marry Me-stepping confidently out from under the dominating shadow of Sufjan Stevens and Polyphonic Spree, as but a back-up singer for one and lost in the choir in the other-but its follow-up, Actor, shows her coming more wholly into her own as St. Vincent. Solidifying her penchant for spry instrumentation by toning down the pomp on tracks like “The Party,” and choosing to amp up the stakes of her strutting, digi-pop melodies with crumpled fuzz blasts on “The Neighbors” and “Marrow,” Actor does a superior job of polarizing its moods, making them all the more potent when they reach their swell. Like its title suggests, Actor thrives on piqued motions, followed by broad, emotive strokes to achieve its character, and Annie Clark turns out one moving and mysterious performance.