Annie Clark has been talking a lot about her most recent album, “Strange Mercy.” A lot. When we phoned her on the road, she even let a little of her frustration slip when she put us on hold to answer the door of her hotel room.
“Hey! Come in. I’m just in f—in’ interviews forever,” we hear her say to the person at her door. Then she returns to our call. “Sorry, I didn’t mean ‘f—ing interviews,’ I meant ‘Interviews!,” she says, trying to muster enthusiasm for ours in a long line of conversations with the press.
But who could blame the woman? With her third and possibly most accomplished and complex work, she’s had to try to define a sound that is at times gorgeously lush and melodic, then coarse and macabre a moment later.
“I think my least favorite question sometimes would be, ‘how would you describe your music?’”
Clark says. “I’m just like, ‘You’re a journalist. I think that’s your job. I have no idea. If I did, I would be ghost writing awesome reviews.’ I have no idea. The most I can do is make it and try to get out of the way and try to say things in interviews that don’t diminish the meaning of the music for a fan.”
Clark might be wise to leave so much of her work unexplained, as it is its unknowable strangeness that is one of the most appealing aspects to her fervent fans. And while many are already anticipating her next release, don’t expect the Texas native to start writing anytime soon.
“Touring takes its own special part of the brain and writing takes its own special thing, which is solitude and you don’t get tons of solitude on the road, and you don’t get lots of quietude” she says.
“Those things are really necessary for me to write.”