St. Vincent Will Bring "Rattlesnake" To 'SNL' — Catch Up With This Essential Listening

As Saturday Night Live bids farewell to another season with host and former cast member Andy Samberg, he's joined by musical guest Annie Clark, better known by her stage name St. Vincent. While the "Rattlesnake" songstress might be a stranger to a portion of Saturday Night Live's viewing audience, she's been on the scene for over a decade, releasing her first EP way back in 2003. To the uninitiated, she is one of the most talented female guitarists of her era, and one of the few great new guitarists that come to mind of the last ten years. Clark has also packed in some meaty collabs during her career, including one with Talking Heads lead singer David Byrne.

True to her deliberate and immaculate songwriting and performance skills, Clark is reported to be every bit a private and reserved person off stage as well. In a Village Voice cover story heralding an inside look into the "Bulletproof Altar of Saint Vincent," Byrne comments on the extent of that reservedness, even after touring with her for a year, remarking: "Mystery is not a bad thing for a beautiful, talented young woman (or man) to embrace. And she does it without seeming to be standoffish or distant." And talented she is. Have a need to get to know Ms. Clark a little better? Have no fear: we've got you covered. Check out these St.Vincent must-listens and treat your ears to something beautiful.

1. "NEVER TEAR US APART" (COLLABORATION WITH BECK'S RECORD CLUB)

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Definitely one of my favorite covers of all time, Clark's haunting vocals elevate INXS's 1988 single to something transcendent. The song was part of Beck's Record Club project, where he would round up his favorite artists to do covers of full albums. They covered the entire album this song appears on, Kick, in a single day.

2. "KROKODIL"

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While she's our favorite soulful songstress, let us not forget she has some edge to her, like when she provided vocals for the surviving members of Nirvana during their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, (alongside Kim Gordon and Joan Jett no less, forming a trifecta of awesome). To those not in the know, krokodil is a potent Russian flesh-eating street drug paralyzing populations both in eastern Europe, and now the States as well. Doesn't get any more acerbic than that.

3. "PARIS IS BURNING"

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The darkly infectious charm of this wartime waltz was not lost on listeners outside of the indie world. Season 7 of So You Think You Can Dance featured a beautifully choreographed old-timey ode to the tune.

4. THIS GUITAR SOLO

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Oh my, is it getting hot in here or is it just Clark's sweet shredding skills?

5. "CRUEL"

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Starring Clark as a woman who gets kidnapped by a creepy family so she can be their new mother, the video for "Cruel" is as great as the song. Stay tuned till the end to see how that works out for her.

Don't forget to keep your eyes peeled for a sweet guitar solo while tied up in the trunk, either.

Image: Tumblr/ f ullofteeth