Grimes – Visions
by Leslie Fowle (English/Journalism), published March 14th 2012
Moldy | Stale | Edible | Fresh | Tasty!
In an interview with New York Times Magazine, Claire Boucher, the 24-year-old behind Grimes, described her music as “post-Internet.” The term doesn’t refer so much to a time in the absence of the Internet, as it does to the time after its advent. In other words, Grimes grew up in the modern world, where everything is available with a click of the mouse. Inevitably, her music does draw from many different influences. But for an album based so much on the reality of the modern day, Visions is almost other-worldly.
Armed with a keyboard, a synth, and an eerily babyish voice, Grimes leads you in to her world. The quick and looping intro, “Infinite Love Without Fulfillment,” suggests maybe robots have taken over. Next come the two strongest songs of Visions, “Genesis” and “Oblivion.” While the former wouldn’t be amiss on a J-pop album with its soft Asian-inspired melody, the latter relies on a very stiff synth beat. Both are equally danceable.
More often than not, Grimes uses her voice as an instrument, masked behind layers of distortions and harmonies. The result is airy and dreamlike. “Symphonia IX (my wait is u)” is reminiscent of waking up from a dream you desperately want to be real. The song ends at the moment you open your eyes and reality sets in.
Though Visions maintains a certain ambience that works, it is a real treat when Grimes’ voice comes through clear and strong. Her vocals on “Circumambient” would make Beyoncé blush. Songs like “Be a Body” and “Visiting Statue,” as their names might suggest, give more body and structure to an otherwise atmospheric album.
So which supernatural, post-Internet world does Grimes belong in exactly? I have decided she is the alien love-child of Aphex Twin and Abba. Then again, with the internet as her oyster, who knows what inspirations she’ll channel next.
Recommended Tracks: Genesis, Oblivion, Symphonia IX (my wait is u)