Dallas native Annie Clark, former member of the Polyphonic Spree and a 2001 Lake Highlands High School grad who now performs under the moniker St. Vincent, officially has arrived — she’s appeared on Letterman, written music for the Twilight saga, been nominated for various independent music awards and received glowing reviews of her albums from the likes of SPIN (appeared on their cover even) and Entertainment Weekly magazines.

Her album Actor hit number nine on Billboard’s Independent Albums Chart, Strange Mercy is was wildly popular. Now St. Vincent and it’s “groove-warped” Birth in Reverse is getting good buzz. “I wanted to make a party record you could play at a funeral,” Clark notes via press release.

Years ago, she recalled for the Advocate the first time, as a teenager, that she played with Spree, when they were a rising East Dallas-based band she auditioned for in 2005.

“My first show with them, I think there were like 30,000 people. It was great. They all bring something to the musical spectrum and the culture that’s really vital,” Clark says. “It was really lucky for me to get to tour with them.”

She chose the name St. Vincent as a tribute to the hospital where the poet Dylan Thomas died.

Also, she says: “I think it’s really important to make a space for what you want to do and sort of name it in a way that gives it life and gives it space,” she told us. “I just wanted to create a house, a place where I could be a creative person that was different than the normal, boring, numbing things we have to do.”

Clark writes her songs and plays all of the instruments, with some exception such as Mike Garson, David Bowie’s long-time pianist, contributing to her first album, Marry Me. She taught herself to play guitar, bass, piano, dulcimer, xylophone and vibes.

“I just kind of picked them up and figured how I could make sounds with them,” she says. “I like this quote by John Lennon where he kind of says, ‘I’m not the best guitar player in the world, but I’m an artist, and I can make some music from really anything.’”