St. Vincent – Keeping it raw, making it personal: “Pay Your Way in Pain” Song Review

Written By | Leyan Bitar

Looks like St. Vincent has come back with a deeply seductive, electric arrangement after all. For those hoping to see a more conventional St. Vincent track, “Pay Your Way in Pain” is not it. Released today with Loma Vista Recordings the three-minute track, produced by Jack Antonoff, gives us a more heartfelt perspective on the Alternative singer.

Unlike any of her tracks on MASSEDUCTION (2017), “Pay Your Way in Pain” begins with a catchy jazz piano sample. The choice is bold, and quite experimental, contrary to what we’ve seen from her so far. Seconds after, her haunting vocals chime in to bridge the gap between the piano sample and the vibrant mix of electronic and acoustic instruments.

Her lyric on this track is very tentative and open to interpretation. She repeats – “What do you want, what do you want?” and then proceeds to answer it with a high note that not only grabs our attention (as if she ever lost it) but also makes us long for more.

St. Vincent is a storyteller, and this track is no stranger to that. Her majestic ability of uplifting her listeners to a place so serene shines through as she converses directly and says – “You know what I want?” almost waiting for us to answer her. But in no way does she do that. Her dynamic tonality picks up and she continues her story, as the main character.

And she has all the right in the world for that. “Pay Your Way in Pain” is in no way a track for “the masses.” St. Vincent gets raw and personal and expects you to do the same.

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