Grimes - Visions (4 stars)

Grimes - Visions

Jaw-dropping record of carefully crafted and cleverly created songs


Visions is Claire Boucher’s fourth release in less than two years, and shows the Vancouver-born music-maker feverishly developing her sound at a rate of knots. Since she moved to Montreal in 2006 and birthed performance art, video and audio project Grimes, she’s given us a slew of wonderfully off-kilter offerings. But Boucher’s latest is by far her most impressive to date; as she takes her love of Enya, TLC and Aphex Twin (yes, really) and turns it into a compelling and utterly distinctive creep pop masterpiece.

Opening with the discordant sweetness of ‘Infinite Love Without Fulfilment’, these thirteen tracks are mesmerising. Bizarre genres that really shouldn’t work merge seamlessly, glued tightly by Boucher’s smooth falsetto and magnificently swooping melodies. ‘Eight’ is K-pop meets industrial goth, ‘Circumambient’ takes us to rhythmic glitch heaven, ‘Be A Body’ is the kind of New Wave baroque pop ballad Talk Talk might have penned, and the trickling synths and big beats of ‘Genesis’ is unabashed New Age-tinged electronica. Oh, and new jack swing and opera? Yeah, they’re in there too.

Now you might be thinking what kind of ridiculous genre-strewn madness is this? And you’d be right, Visions is properly deranged. But in a brilliant, ‘why the hell aren’t other people as insanely inventive as this?’ way. This jaw-dropping record and its carefully crafted and cleverly created songs makes you look at your music collection and realise just how safe and downright lazy a lot of is.

Grimes - Genesis (from upcoming 4AD Visions LP)

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