My favorite weirdo is back with new music! Grimes (27-year-old Claire Boucher) released the first single from her upcoming fourth album earlier this week, and it’s a noticeable departure from her previous work. This doesn’t come as much of a shock; her last full-length album, “Visions,” is nearly four years old, and she scrapped the entirety of its intended predecessor last year (because “it sucked”). It’s clear that she’s been looking for a different sound. And now, finally, she has some new material that she actually wants us to listen to.
Grimes is an experimental artist whose work is defined by almost childlike vocals (complete with a lisp) and pulsing synths. While “Visions” could most easily be categorized as electronica, her recent releases—including this new song and the couple of singles she’s released in the past year—verge more into pop territory.
I love Grimes, but realize that she is an acquired taste, to say the least. While I was excitedly dancing at a concert of hers a few years ago, the friend I’d dragged along with me barely bobbed his head. Her music simply doesn’t do it for everyone.
Even as a longtime fan, it took a few listens for me to fully enjoy this first single, “Flesh without Blood.” Like the rest of her music, the song features Boucher’s surreally high-pitched voice; unlike the rest of her music, it’s essentially the definition of bubblegum pop. It’s fast, bouncy and upbeat, despite its somewhat dismal lyrics. While I’m not sure I’d like an entire album of this exact sound, I can appreciate it in small doses.
If you haven’t heard any of her music yet, I would suggest starting with “Visions”—what I consider to be the strongest of her full-length albums. Also check out “REALiTi,” a demo from the album she scrapped that makes me worriedly question her decision to get rid of the whole project.
The new album is called “Art Angels” and is set to be released Nov. 6. Fingers crossed that she didn’t completely get rid of the sound I’ve grown to love.