x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Visions by Grimes: colossally strange but magnificent

Boucher's angelic voice contends with retro electronics and giant breaks, yet combines to create something wonderful.

(4AD)
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With her scattershot beats and ethereal vocals, if ever an artist seemed to have been born on the wrong continent, it’s Grimes.

Sure, the singer’s hometown, Montreal, has given the world some brilliantly eccentric music, but Claire Boucher creates a sound that’s hyper-Scandinavian. As well as songs that occupy a space somewhere between the electro-pop of Robyn and the goth-techno of her fellow Swedes the Knife, Grimes even shares the respective artists’ pixie-like looks.

Her third album is front-ended with a pair of colossally strange pop tunes. Boucher’s angelic voice contends with retro electronics on Genesis, yet they combine to create something magnificent. It’s followed-up by Oblivion, which bounces along on a Moroder-esque synth and while not catchy, shows Grimes at her most accessible.

Colour of Moonlight lets you know what a duet between Kate Bush and Aphex Twin might be like, while Eight conjures-up an image of a tiny Japanese girl trapped inside a giant dubstep robot. Hidden behind the madcap beats, there are some moments of subtlety too, not least on the beautiful Circumambient.

Grimes may seem like a secret member of the Odd Nordic Femme Pop Society (which is certainly led by Björk and meets only on the occasion of a lunar eclipse), but her music feels derivative of no one.

 

artslife@thenational.ae

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