Grimes ‘Visions’ (4AD)
CD/LP/DL – Available 12th March
This album feels like it stuffs your ears with cotton wool and then plays an electro beat through them with an impossibly cute voice intertwining with the noises. The songs that Grimes sings use her voice as an instrument.
The music should be pop, it should appeal to preteen girls and day-glo spiky haired boys. The whole album has a muted drum pattern and synth sheen that’s very pop. But a mutant, hybrid, mad as a box of frogs pop. Grimes sings as she feels. High pitched and twee, sweet and low, over and under and across herself, lyrics are snatched and disappear before you can hear properly. Her voice has soul and emotion, it’s real, and in the world of pop that in itself is an anomaly.
The sound is rooted in the DIY loft culture of Montreal where a Punk mentality and pop music came together. Grimes is prolific with her releases, four in under two years, if you look up her website you get a film of a girl singing in the street, Grimes looks like an artist, a young cute artist which describes this album perfectly.
It’s art as pop, or pop as art. But very listenable. She doesn’t sound like anyone else and in this day and age that in itself is an anomaly. No two tracks are the same, from the vinyl crack and hiss sample on Circumambient to the blissed out running water sounds of know the way, it changes and moves around you.
The music has been created, polished, waxed and then buffed until it gleams, Grimes’ voice is the final factor that elevates it away from banal chart rubbish. If you want to move away out of your comfort zone I would give this a spin, and then wait for it to creep under your skin.