“Pills, pills, pills every day of the week!”
In some post-apocalyptic, super-capitalistic alternative universe, St. Vincent’s ‘Pills’ is the jingle to an advertisement selling narcotics. However, in this world, it bemoans the pharmaceutical industry, and how tiny capsules have made room for themselves in every nook and cranny of our everyday lives. The whole vibe of the song emanates a robotic happiness that’s almost ironic, like celebrating something awful.
Musically and sonically, the song is exciting. With jagged guitar work and clever drum production, the song manages to keep a pretty ordinary and repetitive chorus interesting. It’s a busy song with a lot happening over the course of the song without it ever feeling overcrowded. There’s also the dynamic switch around halfway through the song where St. Vincent channels her inner-Freddie Mercury and croons “Come all you wasted, wretched, and scorned/Come on and face it/Come join the wall,” with the conviction of a cult leader, contrasting the robotic chorus with something very human and emotive.
The song also features some musical guests, with Saxophone player Kamasi Washington player being the most notable. His contribution is subtle – you don’t necessarily notice it but would definitely feel it’s absence if it wasn’t there. There’s also Cara Delevingne and Jenny Lewis but I’m not sure what they’re doing besides giving the song some additional publicity. Maybe they’re just good friends with St. Vincent!
St. Vincent’s album ‘MASSEDUCTION’, releases this Friday, October 13th.