Tabletop Transitional – St. Vincent’s “Cheerleader” video is a work of art, in more ways than one

St. Vincent is touring Australia in March, playing at the HiFi Bar in Melbourne on the 14th, and I’m considering it as a slightly late, but ultimately amazing, birthday present from the universe. It’s not often that North American artists come to Australia to perform, you see, so to have the opportunity to see the glorious solo musical project of Annie Clark in my hometown is something I’m incredibly grateful for. I’m not quite sure who I’m grateful to, since none of the organisers had me in mind (I can reasonably assume) when planning the tour, but I’m grateful nonetheless.

Why am I so excited about seeing St. Vincent live? Partly because she puts out gorgeous music videos like this one.

There’s very obviously symbolism in there, but of what? The lyrics of the song suggest that she doesn’t want to be on the sidelines, objectified for her looks/musical style/gender, and the video seems to be saying she’d rather break free from the restraints other people have put her in and shatter her perfect image, than stay as some idealised figure in the “indie” music scene. You could draw parallels with the stylistic shift her music took on her third album Strange Mercy, from which “Cheerleader” is a single.

Hmm. Perhaps draw your own conclusions. What do you see in the video?

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