Ver­i­ta­ble pop art

New Straits Times - - Groove | Beats -


FOR a young woman, hav­ing four al­bums (all cut­ting edge, for­ward think­ing and ground­break­ing) in her rel­a­tively short mu­sic ca­reer is out­stand­ing. Hav­ing re­cently re­dis­cov­ered the won­der and amaze­ment of first hear­ing some­thing life-chang­ing, when stum­bling upon her lat­est work Art An­gels re­leased al­most two years ago, a spe­cial con­sid­er­a­tion was made: A throw­back re­view needs to be done.

Some of you read­ing may have never heard of Claire Boucher, bet­ter known by the stage name Grimes. Con­sider this a com­mu­nity ser­vice.

Most indie artistes have an is­sue with call­ing their mu­sic pop.

Un­der­stand­ably so, pop has be­come a genre so over­loaded with assem­bly line prod­ucts and over­pop­u­lated with fans with too lit­tle knowl­edge of mu­sic, it’s be­come a place to be avoided like the morgue.

Grimes, 29, has no such qualms though, eas­ily an­swer­ing in in­ter­views that her mu­sic is fu­tur­is­tic pop, from sounds built on her im­pec­ca­ble pro­duc­tion tal­ent.

All without any mu­si­cal ge­neal­ogy. She didn’t learn the pi­ano at 3 or have a par­ent who also hap­pens to be a mu­si­cal leg­end.

You wouldn’t be able to tell on the record though, with synths and beats that get you danc­ing, and lyrics with so much mean­ing she may as well be a poet.

From Kill V. Maim to Eas­ily, with the for­mer sim­i­lar to Kpop and the lat­ter, a hy­brid synth-bal­lad, the sheer va­ri­ety of sounds on the al­bum is mind-bog­gling.

A col­lab­o­ra­tion with Janelle Monae on Venus Fly shows her will­ing­ness to share her art and pedestal with big names, while still ap­pre­ci­at­ing the unique tal­ents of the un­der­ground on Scream, which fea­tures Tai­wanese rap­per Aristo­phanes (yes, the rap is in Man­darin).

The story of fan favourite Real­iti (she loses her hard drive with the project, and only re­cov­ered a copy with se­verely af­fected au­dio and al­most didn’t re­lease said track) makes you won­der, how much more does Grimes re­ally have in her arse­nal?

Per­sonal stand­out tracks are Real­iti and World Princess Part II, back to back and an ab­so­lute favourite part of the al­bum.

And we haven’t even dis­cussed her mu­sic videos, co-di­rected by her brother Mac.

Nei­ther have we touched on her dub­step track with Blood Di­a­monds.

But if an at­tempt was made to cover ev­ery­thing Grimes, the word limit would do her an in­jus­tice.

Art An­gels hits way above its weight and if you’ve not heard it, it’s your loss.


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