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Susan Yu has published 11 articles

Review: Grimes - Visions

Susan Yu is left entranced by Grimes' blend of chillwave and electro
Susan Yu on Wednesday 28th March 2012
Photograph: 4AD

Don’t be misled by the daunting cover of Visions by Montreal based Grimes, aka Claire Boucher. The 24 year old Canadian born musician and music video director is currently garnering international praise as she makes waves with her bewitching electropop/chillwave/witch house music repertoire.

Rather than a dark treacherous musical odyssey, Visions presents a surprisingly fresh and craftily textured revelation wrapped in surreal, edgy, space-like foam. 

The album brazenly kicks off with a short introductory track entitled ‘Infinite Love Without Fulfilment’. “I’ll leave you if you want to”, the insouciant lyrics taunt playfully, treating love in a detached, indifferent yet obedient manner. This is followed by ‘Genesis’, a tense polyphonic piece with rich instrumentation and crisp beats. The sound is refreshing: an interplay between arpeggio like flutes, tinkering electronic piano, synthesised sounds and a sweet concoction topped with a lightly thudding bass. In a similar vein, ‘Oblivion’ is built upon the application of hypnotic electronic loops that form the underlying languid platform of the song.

Stand out tracks include ‘Vowels = Space and Time’, ‘Be a Body’ and ‘Skin’. Again, the apt use of synthesisers on these tracks, coupled with catchy melodies, create soundscapes that are hallucinogenic, dreamy and unrefined. ‘Be a Body’ and ‘Skin’ follow the formula of offbeat chord patterns touched with piano riffs that insinuate mystery.

However, I cannot pin Grimes down. Often I would be fleetingly reminded of Ladyhawke and Prince, whilst some tracks are also reminiscent of Goldfrapp and Hot Chip in their pensive, wistful delivery and hypnotic, persistent beats.

The album ties the knot with ‘Know the Way’, perhaps the most calm–inducing song of the lot. It waves a tender goodbye to an exotic, beguiling infusion of electro, chillwave sounds. Grimes does not fall under the mainstream category but, if her Visions are anything to go by, then conversions to this exhilarating genre will undoubtedly follow suit. Boucher’s ethereal Visions need no correcting.

FOUR STARS

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