Grimes: Seeing Visions

Grimes, the pseudonym of Montreal artist Claire Boucher, has been described as "post-internet" electronic pop. On a surface level, a knowledgeable music fan can easily spot dozens of influences in her new album Visions: the Fairlight synthesizer from Kate Bush's The Dreaming, the Cure's classic bass lines (particularly the one from "A Forest"), and even Del Shannon's wah-wah-wah refrain on "Runaway." Current blog fads like K-Pop, chillwave, and '90s R&B stars like Aaliyah circulate like ghosts in a happy haunted disco. However, Grimes also has a singular identity that stands out from the homage.

The Goth vibe of Grimes' earlier work like 2010's Halfaxa lingers, but Visions is an unabashedly whimsical record. On "Skin" she sings in different tones, from a low bellow to a chirpy lilt, while suffusing her self-produced synth-pop beats in lo-fi hiss. On "Genesis," she multi-tracks her voice into a cheerleader chant, then breaks the spell to emote like a 1980s Latin freestyle diva. While the lyrics are difficult to decipher—she's a fan of Scottish singer Elizabeth Fraser's glossolalia vocals—they're an inextricable part of Grimes' world of self-expression, and finding oneself by playing with genres. – Mosi Reeves, Google Play

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