St. Vincent sings “Slow Disco” on Jimmy Fallon


Fresh off a new album, St. Vincent made an appearance on the Tonight Show to perform her song “Slow Disco.” It’s a song from “Masseduction,” a style shift and powerful statement for the Grammy-winning musician who was already well-respected for her unique vision of experimental pop and rock, expertly incorporating those elements on previous albums. She is also well known for her rousing collaborations with David Byrne of the Talking Heads.


The singer appeared before the audience with only a group of string players, who all sat in pews facing the musician. Throughout the performance, she was poised and remarkable in front of the microphone, only showing emotion with her face. Smoke wafted along the floor as St. Vincent crooned above the wall of strings:


“Am I thinking what everybody’s thinkin’?

I’m so glad I came, but I can’t wait to leave

Slip my hand from your hand

Leave you dancin’ with a ghost

Slip my hand from your hand

Leave you dancin’ with a ghost”


“Slow Disco” is a great example of the variety of St. Vincent’s songwriting and the array of styles she can inhabit. Over the years she has become somewhat of a pop chameleon, at times fun and dazzling, at other times emotionally vulnerable and intensely evocative. On “Masseduction” she plays with all those elements, contrasting the in-your-face electronic pop of “Pills” with the ballad-like confession of “Slow Disco.”


St. Vincent is truly a performance artist, one who completely inhabits the songs she performs. The part she played in “Slow Disco,” of the slow death of the almost religious fervor brought to a relationship, was acted out in the scene she had concocted for the audience.


At the end St. Vincent backed slowly away from the microphone, repeating the last words of the song -“Don’t it beat a slow dance to death”- from farther and farther away. By the end it is if a ghost was singing the words, barely audible among the hum of the strings.



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