After much ado, St. Vincent finally released her highly anticipated album MASSEDUCTION last week, and fans in Japan got an extra special treat: A bonus track released on the Japanese edition of the album called “政権腐敗,” which translates to “Power Corrupts.”
The song is a sort of alternate version of the MASSEDUCTION title track; you’ll probably recognize the repeated phrase from the original, “seiken fuhai,” featured more prominently here. “Power Corrupts” pushes Japanese musician Toko Yasuda’s spoken-word vocals to the forefront, although Annie Clark still sings the hook.
Clark’s relationship with Yasuda goes back a ways: Yasuda has been in the St. Vincent touring band since 2011. In 2014, Clark said she met Yasuda (best known through her work with New York indie group Enon) through her husband, John Schmersal (also of Enon, and a touring member of Caribou), via a recommendation from the Dessner brothers of The National. Clark said of “the moog playing, axe wielding vixen”:
“I talked to John and he was so great. He said, ‘I think this gig would be better suited for my wife, and you should meet her.’ So Toko and I Skyped and she was just amazing. I said, ‘You’re hired! This is great!’ She’s one of my best friends.”
Listen to “Power Corrupts” above.