After three years and a false start, Grimes aka Claire Boucher has returned with the follow-up to her breakthrough, Visions, and it’s a brightly colored collection of artpop magical realism. The drumline beats and sunny guitars and melodies of “California” and the title track could almost pass for something on mainstream radio, if not for Boucher’s clarion voice cutting through. Similarly, the nimble “Flesh Without Blood” might not be the most original song Grimes has put to tape, but it’s the catchiest and is damn near irresistible. Yet in between those songs we get “Scream,” which has none of the safety of her more accessible tunes, between Taiwanese rapper Aristophanes’ twisting flow and Boucher’s curdled screech. The previously released “REALiTi” throws fans of her more straightforward electro-pop a bone, though it continues with the posi vibes and influences of K-pop and early ’90s house that flow through the rest of the album. Meanwhile, “Venus Fly,” her spacey hip hop duet with Janelle Monae, is a pure delight, coming off like a futuristic art-school version of the Spice Girls, and “Kill vs. Maim” has the feel of the drama kids taking over a pep rally with Boucher’s yelp simultaneously spirited and demented. Boucher has no use for genre boundaries and is seemingly allergic to negativity, all of which gives Art Angels an unbeatable all-embracing energy. The biggest change from Visions is that Boucher’s personality is more front-and-center; whereas that album could be more cold and cerebral in its in-between tracks, Art Angels is entirely engaging, and even its most digitized moments are stained with blood. (Art Angels will be released on LP and CD Dec. 11.)
By Double Ay
Artist, musician, producer, singer, and songwriter Claire Boucher, or better known as Grimes, is readying to release her new album. Grimes has been captivating the music community since 2010 and her fourth album, Art Angels, is a project to get excited about. It's been three years since her last album (Visions) and it's sounding like it has been well worth the wait.
Grimes performed two nights at the Fillmore in San Francisco on Halloween weekend and played a solid amount of her new album. Not only was her performance stunning, but her unreleased material sounded awesome. She played a banging new song with former collaborator Blood Diamonds and, to the say the least about what I heard from her new songs, her songwriting and instrumentation are a force to be reckoned with.
The development of Art Angels has had a few set backs in the making. In late 2014, Grimes released the track "Go" (featuring Blood Diamonds) and the song caused quite a stir throughout her fan base. The song is hard hitting and impressive, but many were put off by the more poppy sound of the song. To put it in perspective, Grimes even said the song was originally written to be sung by pop queen Rihanna. In an interview with the New York Times, Grimes explained that after releasing "Go" she scrapped an entire album before creating Art Angels due to how she was feeling about the sound.
In the video for her song "Go," featuring Blood Diamonds, Grimes goes all Mad Max/Final Fantasy on us with swords and veils in the desert. But then also at the club. 'Cause after all, this was a song Grimes had written for RIhanna but that got turned down. Pretty lame, it would have been nice to hear Rihanna try something different like this, but it sounds great coming from Grimes, too. The song is available to download now from Amoeba.com.
See the video below:
SNL’s Vanessa Bayer hosts a Sally Jessy Raphael-style talk show in which we see one of the Haims in love with mimes, Ke$ha in love with her cat and A$AP Ferg as a guest whose girlfriend has fallen for another woman. Hey look, there’s Grimes chilling in the waiting room. And there’s Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig sitting in the audience. OK, it’s pretty much a game of spot the famous person, but still pretty fun!
Days Are Gone is out now and is still really good.
Our "What's In My Bag?" series won a Webby Award today for Best Online Film & Video: Variety Show! We were up against some brilliant, funny, and thought-provoking shows by SoulPancake (who won the People's Voice Award in our category), Conan O'Brien, MIT and Fandango. It's amazing that our little series - of which we are so incredibly proud, don't get me wrong - would be nominated with those folks, let alone honored by the Webby judges with the win.
If you're not familiar with the Webbys, it's an annual international award that's been dubbed "the Internet's highest honor" by the New York Times. Some of the other winners this year include The Onion which won its 18th and 19th Webby for Best Humor Website; The Creators Project which won a Webby (and a People's Voice Award) for Best Art; Pinterest which won a Webby (and a People's Voice Award) for Best Social Media; and Dumb Ways to Die which won for Best Viral Video. Additionally, the Webbys have named Amoeba faves Grimes the Artist of the Year and Frank Ocean as the Person of the Year. See all the winners here.