St. Vincent thinks song meanings should be secret

St. Vincent doesn’t like to know what an artist is thinking when they write a song.

The ‘Digital Witness’ singer likes to be “selfish” when she listens to music and prefers artists not to reveal the meanings of songs so she can interpret it her own way.

She said: “The other thing about it is that, as a fan myself, I will listen to stuff and it means so much to me if it’s inextractable from my life, from a period of time or from a major seismic event in my life. And maybe this is just me being selfish, but I don’t really want to know what the artist was thinking. I kind of don’t care! And I mean that with all respect. I’m like, oh, I’m too selfish – I love this for me, and what it means to me. And for a long time, I think I didn’t want to talk too much about what the songs were personally about for me, because it felt like it was a little selfish to push all that into the way that somebody was interpreting or enjoying the song. It felt like micro-managing their experience.”

And the 37-year-old singer feels she “communicates” the best through releasing music.

Speaking to Variety, she added: “You kind of have to trust that if you say something that resonates with you, then it’s going to resonate with other people. But the records that I touch upon in the Audible piece, I feel far enough away from personally – and they’d existed in the world long enough – to where I feel kind of okay divulging certain things and hoping that it doesn’t interfere with anybody’s experience of just listening to it. Because it’s like not about me. You make the work so it can not be about you, so it can just be for other people. I know that might sound kind of Pollyanna, but it’s true. That’s the best way I know how to communicate … You know, that and talk therapy.”

September 3, 2020
To Top