Writer Nick Paumgarten spent time with her in the studio, and shadowed her at a meeting with her creative director about album art and tour presentation. Clark admits that the lyrics to the album are specifically autobiographical without being “diaristic,” dealing with three principle topics: “sex and drugs and sadness.”
There’s been a lot of speculation about the extent to which St. Vincent’s lead single from the album, “New York,” and other track on the record were about her ex-girlfriend: actress Cara Delevingne. Clark told Paumgarten that the libretto to “New York” was more of “a composite,” and not specifically about Delevingne (or David Bowie, which was another fan theory). She did reveal that Delevingne herself sings on a song on the album called “Pills.” The lyrics that the actress apparently sings are intense by anyone’s standards: “Pills to grow, pills to shrink, pills, pills, pills and a good stiff drink / pills to fuck, pills to eat, pills, pills, pills down the kitchen sink.”
Paumgarten explained that Delevingne will officially be listed as a mysterious artist called “Kid Monkey” in the album credits, which doesn’t really matter now that the cat’s already out of the bag.
Read the revelatory profile here, and check out “New York” below.
This article was originally published on Spin