ENTERTAINMENT MUSIC Pop & Hiss

St. Vincent's Mixtape Delivery Service aims to grab ears and hearts

Apple Music's arrival on Tuesday promised to deliver expertly crafted playlists on its Beats 1 radio station as well as bridge the gap between artists and fans through exclusive videos and performance requests from the Connect feature. 

St. Vincent decided to combine both in her own Beats 1 radio show, "St. Vincent's Mixtape Delivery Service," which premiered Tuesday at its weekly 7 p.m. (10 p.m. EST) time slot.  

Annie Clark, the multiinstrumentalist and songwriter behind St. Vincent, started her show by explaining, "Each week, people write in to request a mixtape to serve as a soundtrack for whatever is going on in their lives. They call in, we chat, they share their story and then I hand select songs just for them."

St. Vincent's first show introduced listeners to 11-year-old Piper, who sent Clark a letter explaining how she holds "singing parties" by herself, dancing on her bed and singing St. Vincent's passionate melodies into her hairbrush. 

After talking with Piper, Clark decided to compile the playlist to fit the precocious child's affinity for dance, and began the show with tunes from Depeche Mode, Stereolab and New Order.

"I thought about some music that she, I think, will love but probably has missed, because she's 11," Clark said, before spinning Depeche Mode's 1990 single "Enjoy the Silence."

Throughout the show, Clark speaks with Piper about her singing parties as well as her school's recent musical. Not only was the back-and-forth between Clark and Piper endearing, but the St. Vincent-crafted playlist is a solid collection of classic and rock-inspired dance tunes, from Devo and Chaka Khan to Pet Shop Boys, Björk and Talking Heads. 

While St. Vincent and Piper's conversation is available via Tumblr, listening to the playlist means curating it yourself, or, more easily, checking out the fan-made Spotify playlist. (Just don't tell Apple.);

As St. Vincent continues hosting her Apple Music program on Tuesday nights, we can only hope that she uses those specially designed playlists to further demonstrate the power of music to heal emotional wounds and inspire singing into a hairbrush. 

Follow @bthornbostel on Twitter for breaking music news.

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