Grimes, the moniker of Montreal artist Claire Boucher, has been under-the-radar for some time now--roughly since the release of her geidi primes cassette, a little over a year ago, off Arbutus Records--but she comes out of an intelligent electro-pop tradition that, we can only think, is good for the music stratosphere at-large. That geidi primes debut cassette can still be had, free of charge, on Grimes' Arbutus Records page: grab it here. For those of us who found early Nite Jewel too distant, and had hoped for a more emotive downbeat disco, this is the download for you:
Grimes - Rosa by Arbutus Records
Grimes - Caladan by Arbutus Records
Grimes' sound has been self-described as "goth-pop" derived from "Medieval organum, R&B and hip-hop," an observation that could be lost on no listener: she has an almost Palestrina-esque moan; her version of pop is one with near ties to sacred music. But that's not to over-hype Grimes--when we speak of sacred music here, we're speaking of the quality of sound, which is something like the sound of a lone woman rhapsodizing in a cathedral. It has that lofty, sweeping sensation that makes her new cut, "Vanessa," off her recent split 7" with d'Eon, a tremendous success, and contributed to the haunted, gorgeous atmosphere of her Halfaxa LP, off which you can find the excellent "Weregild" offered below.
Grimes - Vanessa by Arbutus Records
Grimes - Weregild by Arbutus Records
And, of course, the video for "Vanessa" is not to be missed:
Grimes - Vanessa (Arbutus/Hippos and Tanks 2011)
Needless to say, "Vanessa" represents an enormous forward step for Boucher--positioning herself where, before she re-exploded onto the scene, Robyn might have been some time ago. We're all ears on further material, whenever it should surface, and we encourage you to keep an eye on her too, via her Myspace.
Oh, and the art at the top of the post? Claire Boucher's work. We, folks, are in the presence of one hip, hip lady.