Posts tagged grimes

Dying at the thought of the joint tour this Twitter conversation would result in.

likeapairofbottlerockets:

actuallygrimes:

Blue Hawaii - Blue Gowns 

good intro to blue hawaii

It’s cool that Grimes likes this I like it a lot too.

Yes Yes yes yes yes.

Best song off the magnificent Blooming Summer EP, which came out around the same time as Grimes’ own Geidi Primes (which is also wonderful and which you should all get around to if you haven’t heard it).

Given that the long overdue buzz around the Arbutus Records scene is finally happening outside of Montreal, I suspect that Blue Hawaii’s new record Untogether is gonna get to a lot of ears and get a lot of love in 2013, and it is totally merited.

But if you haven’t heard that first EP, it’s free and it’s great and Raphaelle’s voice is sheer perfection and this song is wonderful and seriously just bask in this. And then go listen to her work with BRAIDS.

While you’re at it, check out some Sean Nicholas Savage and TOPS’ Tender Opposites.

Anyway, I’m glad that Claire is repping for this song because it is so very very good.

In your videos this year, you played with these clichés of powerful and powerless female archetypes. What was that about?
I was interested in the Japanese archetype of a female protagonist who is very small and very cute and very physically powerful. You don’t see that archetype in America. But in Japanese culture, there are female characters who can embody this girl uniform and still cut someone’s head off with a sword. “Oblivion” embodies that kind of archetype, going into this masculine world that is associated with sexual assault, but presented as something really welcoming and nice. The song’s sort of about being — I was assaulted and I had a really hard time engaging in any types of relationship with men, because I was just so terrified of men for a while.

Is it important for you to discuss what “Oblivion” is about?
It would be intense if it were an overwhelming part of my image. I can’t censor myself; it’s really important for me to say how I feel. I needed to put out this song. I needed to make this song. I took one of the most shattering experiences of my life and turned it into something I can build a career on and that allows me to travel the world. I play it live every night. The whole process has been positive — engaging with that subject matter and making it into something good.

Jessica Hopper did a really wonderful interview with Grimes, and I think the above part in particular is revelatory. “Oblivion” is my favorite song of the year by a mile (and my most-played song on iTunes EVER, I should add), but after reading this interview I feel like I just listened to it for the first time. I’ve never heard Claire explicitly say before that the song is about sexual assault (/just walking around in this constant mindframe of fear/paranoia that all female-identified/queer ppl are told to inhabit), and to me that just puts such a chilling and poignant l cast over so many of its lyrics. “Someone could break your neck, coming up behind you always coming and you never have a clue.” “Always looking straight, thinking counting all the hours you wait.” “See you in the dark night.” (OK, so like every fucking line in the song basically.)

I can see people (and hell, I sort of used to think of the song this way too) thinking there’s something kind of fey and and sweet and crushstruck about “Oblivion” (“I need someone else to look into my eyes and tell me girl you know you gotta watch your health”), but as she says in the interview, people have a tendency to infantilize the meaning of her songs and image. That is something she’s had to grapple with. I’m still processing and will probably have more to say about this someday, but all of this feels really significant to me, and further proof that — I see u h8rs — Grimes is a really brave, exciting and important artist.

(via lindsayzoladz)

Lindsay Zoladz for the win, per usual. And Claire for the win, per usual.

I’m still weirded out by the way that pretty much every first-year student at McGill this year worships at the altar of Grimes - not that they like the music, but breathlessly inquire as to who we know who knows her/do we know her/what is she like/etc. etc. etc. and the style clones wandering campus are endlessly amusing, but I guess maybe this is what first-years were like with Arcade Fire when I was in undergrad? It’s hard to remember.

Anyway, Visions is still a great album. It’s not my favourite of her releases - Geidi Primes has a cobbled-together found sound beauty that I really love - but it’s one of the year’s best. And while there are things that folks have called her out on that I’m 100% on-side with, on balance I’m with Lindsay re: exciting/important.

And if some of her newfound success rubs off on Majical Cloudz and TOPS and - most importantly - Blue Hawaii? I will be very very happy indeed.

Having raved about Blooming Summer, here’s a taste of it. ‘Blue Gown’s is the absolute highlight of the whole EP. The EP inhabits that Dirty Projectors/Björk/electronics space that White Hinterland and early Grimes and a lot of other projects around 2009 were gesturing at, but Blue Gowns does the Björk-y side of this sound better than pretty much anyone.

Much like Raph’s work in BRAIDS, the lyrics for this song tend to be very embodied and very frankly sexual at times. The jealousy in ‘Blue Gowns’ bursts forth in Raph’s cries up the octave of “how foolish can I get”, but also in the jarring “I think about you thrusting into her” with thrusting attacked vocally with relish. This is a stark contrast perhaps to Grimes’ approach which is more glossolalia and mental, ‘Be a Body’ and ‘Skin’ aside - and come to think of it, ‘Skin’ especially feels like a song that would belong on the Blooming Summer EP. 

Blue Hawaii – “In Two” + “In Two II”

Blue Hawaii’s Blooming Summer was probably my favourite thing the Arbutus crew put out in 2010. This is saying a lot given that 2010 was the year when Claire Boucher put out Geidi Primes and Halfaxa, the bewitchingly lo-fi first two releases from ‘Grimes’ (which in a lot of ways remain more interesting, if less exciting and catchy, than Visions). 

The group consists of Raphaelle Standell-Preston - she of the evocative, stunning, wonderful Björk-y vocals from BRAIDS - and Alex Cowan, and the summer before BRAIDS’ (equally excellent) Native Speaker LP finally got released, the two of them were perpetually playing loft parties and random bars and parks and generally being awesome.

Anyway, now that BRAIDS are done touring Native Speaker, they’ve had time to record a full-length debut, Untogether, which will be coming out in early 2013, and given how much of an influence they’ve exerted on the rest of this musical universe, it should be something that y’all fall madly in love with. Hopefully. Because that EP got perpetually not-enough-attention and I am not going to let this happen again just because in the interim Grimes and Purity Ring have filled the void left by their absence.

So, yeah, lead single from the new album is here. Haven’t gotten a chance to give them a spin yet, but I love these folks so much that I’m willing to recommend it sight-unseen (errr… sound-unheard).

[MP3] In Two

[MP3] In Two II

avi - Grimes

I highly doubt that Claire will dig further back into the Grimes discography than Darkbloom's 'Vanessa', but if she could just play this and 'Rosa' and 'Heartbeats' and 'Feyd Rautha Dark Heart' that would be perfect. kthx.

And maybe ‘Ambrosia’.

fourbeatsoff:

Whoa. Watch this.

Not as sublime as Claire’s but still wonderful.

Grimes - Ambrosia [Visions 12”, Arbutus Records] 


One of two Canada-only bonus tracks from the 9-track 12” release of Visions. ‘Life After Death’ is also good, but ‘Ambrosia’ is easily one of my favourites from the entire project.

Anonymous asked: Interested to hear your thoughts on the Grimes album. That is all. Thanks!

jamiesoncox:

I think an underrated aspect of Visions is its consistency. The early twosome of “Genesis” and “Oblivion” is undeniably a highlight, but there are worthy cuts sprinkled throughout the album; it doesn’t sag in the middle, and closes strong with personal favourites like “Symphonia IX” and “Skin”. I don’t feel compelled to skip the more indistinct tracks when I know another strong one is just around the corner. I’ve also enjoyed reading reviews and longer critical pieces that have been written in the wake of Visions: off the top of my head, I really liked Lindsay Zoladz’ review of the album at Pitchfork, Mark Richardson’s latest Resonant Frequency column, and Julianne Escobedo Shepherd’s “Deconstructing: Grimes” on Stereogum. (Recommended reading!) Maybe it’s foolish of me to suggest a correlation between an album’s quality and the quality of the writing it spawns, but Visions seemed to bring out the best in plenty of writers kicking around the Internet. 

When I think about Visions in tandem with the response it received, and some of the critiques lobbied at both the music and at Claire Boucher herself, I relate it to people’s reaction to Joanna Newsom around the release of both The Milk-Eyed Mender and Ys. There are parallels to be drawn between Newsom and Boucher, if you’re sniffing around: each woman’s voice proved the most polarizing element of their music, both have had their appearance detract from their content, and they’ve both been slapped with the label “weird” at one point or another. (Remember “New Weird America”? Remember Devendra Banhart?) The thin, flighty coo Boucher uses throughout Visions, as well as her application of vocal processing, detracts from her voice’s versatility: listen to the beginning of “Genesis”, where she sings with lovely tone and depth for a few lines before jumping to a less traditional, bouncier style. She can float between the influences of R&B and K-pop, or land in a digitized territory all her own. Visions is an album rich with detail, gnarled and dark in spots, and yet you don’t have to look far to find comments like  ”As for Ms. Grimes, I see a lot of pictures and no audio, so I’ll make the only judgment I can: yes, I’d totally do her.” (Which, ugh, come on.) And although I can’t absolve her of all guilt in this regard, it’s similarly easy to bundle up those aforementioned avian vocal turns and her Minneapolis houseboat adventures into a tidy “Whoa, that Grimes chick is weird!” narrative. If Newsom was positioned at the forefront of New Weird America, Grimes is the current flagbearer (and only member) of Newer, Weirder Canada.

I don’t love Visions quite as much as Ys or Have One on Me just yet, but I think it’s unfortunate that Boucher suffers from a similar set of problems as Newsom (who, after three stellar records, is still fighting to overcome issues like this).

I mostly agree with this - the one thing that I’d note is that prior to Visions (her third album), Claire didn’t really get slapped with the ‘weird’ label or the ‘I’d totally do her’ grossness. I suspect this is just a result of a shift from being seen as one (very good) part of a larger musical scene or group of sounds (the Altered Zones universe, or in Montreal, Arbutus Records and affiliated artists) to being seen as a solo artist and specifically a female solo artist.

Which is depressing as all hell, because tbh I don’t see Claire’s ‘Grimes’ project as that different in location/mode than Tom Krell’s ‘How to Dress Well’. And yet, despite the fact that they’ve toured together, share an interest in engaging with their love for R&B and pop through more lo-fi and DIY music, etc. etc., you’re less likely to read about her ties to the rest of the ‘post-Internet’ (ugh) circle of R&B-appreciative P4K-types than you are to hear comparisons either to female R&B singers or ‘weird’ female electro singers.

In 2007 or 2008, I started listening to R&B on this road trip with my dad because we couldn’t agree on anything else. I smoked weed and listened to “Fantasy” and felt something I’d never felt before. [laughs] In medieval Christian thought, it was assumed that the better you were as a singer, the purer your heart was. I don’t necessarily think that’s true, but Mariah Carey has the voice of someone who has never done evil.

Grimes on Mariah Carey. (via pitchfork)

Love Claire. Love Mariah. This quote is so on point.

Grimes - ‘Skin’

Soft skin / You touch me within and so I know I could be human once again.

Somehow a cursory scan through my archive tells me I haven’t written about this yet.
Grimes is blowing up everywhere now, and Visions will be inescapable in the next few months, but deservedly so. Her first two full lengths are beautiful, especially 2009’s Geidi Primes (which is like 70% Frank Herbert references and 30% ethereal sound collage, FYI). 2010’s Halfaxa never clicked with me in quite the same way (although I like it a great deal), and while ‘Vanessa' was one of my favourite singles of last year, the rest of the Darkbloom EP felt insubstantial.
What I’m trying to say is that Visions is a very welcome album. Claire’s expanded her vocal toolbox here - there’s still some more baby-voiced bits that will turn off a certain sort of listener, but her lower range makes more appearances. There are more songs that feel like ‘songs’ and not just lovely collections of songs than on her earlier releases. The drums are more full, there are some killer bass lines (see: Be A Body) - it just SOUNDS good.
This isn’t so much a “her music sounds better now that it is less lo-fi” as much as “given the tools, she knows what to do with them”. (Kind of like tUnE-yArDs - the various records do completely different things very well.)
I have done a terrible job at trying to capture the appeal of this album. Probably because I need to spend a couple more months with it before I understand anything about it. But you should listen to it. If only because the cover art is really something.

Somehow a cursory scan through my archive tells me I haven’t written about this yet.

Grimes is blowing up everywhere now, and Visions will be inescapable in the next few months, but deservedly so. Her first two full lengths are beautiful, especially 2009’s Geidi Primes (which is like 70% Frank Herbert references and 30% ethereal sound collage, FYI). 2010’s Halfaxa never clicked with me in quite the same way (although I like it a great deal), and while ‘Vanessa' was one of my favourite singles of last year, the rest of the Darkbloom EP felt insubstantial.

What I’m trying to say is that Visions is a very welcome album. Claire’s expanded her vocal toolbox here - there’s still some more baby-voiced bits that will turn off a certain sort of listener, but her lower range makes more appearances. There are more songs that feel like ‘songs’ and not just lovely collections of songs than on her earlier releases. The drums are more full, there are some killer bass lines (see: Be A Body) - it just SOUNDS good.

This isn’t so much a “her music sounds better now that it is less lo-fi” as much as “given the tools, she knows what to do with them”. (Kind of like tUnE-yArDs - the various records do completely different things very well.)

I have done a terrible job at trying to capture the appeal of this album. Probably because I need to spend a couple more months with it before I understand anything about it. But you should listen to it. If only because the cover art is really something.

jadeblair:

I made a simple mixtape, of my favourite songs of 2011, to celebrate and say thanks and all that sorta stuff.
Give it a download, if you please.
If you really like a song, remember to go support the artist. In these troubled times, a hug or canned good may cut it, but you should probably just buy the song. And go to the shows, too. 
Tracklist:
Gil Scott Heron & Jamie xx - I’ll Take Care of U
The Weeknd - The Morning
Ryan Hemsworth - Castles in England;
Cee Lo - No One’s Gonna Love You (Paul Epworth Mix);
Jojo - Marvin’s Room;
Little Dragon - Ritual Union (Tensnake Remix);
Drake - Dreams Money Can Buy
Jacques Greene - Another Girl
tUnE-yArDs - Gangsta (Ad Rock Remix)
Metronomy - The Bay (Erol Alkan Extended Rework);
Grimes - Oblivion
Main Attrakionz - Take 1 feat. Asap Rocky
Jacques Greene - Motivation;
Spank Rock - Baby;
Jay Z & Kanye West - Gotta Have it;
Azealia Banks - 212
Beyonce - Party feat. Andre 3000 
Lloyd - Lay it Down feat. BoB
You can download it here. 
 

Jade, I love you. Everyone else, listen to this. Jade is the best. She also designs album covers for Main Attrakionz
Half of this could double as my end of year list. Trade out ‘Oblivion’ for ‘Vanessa’ and toss in Weeknd, Cee-Lo and Spank Rock for Delilah’s Go, CREEP ft. Nina Sky’s You, Patrick Wolf’s Together and maybe find space for Braids’ Glass Deers. I was gonna question the lack of Kelly Rowland but you have Phil’s white label mix of it.
JoJo’s take on Marvins Room is A++ always and forever.
(I will still probably make my own end of year list at some point. After exams.)

jadeblair:

I made a simple mixtape, of my favourite songs of 2011, to celebrate and say thanks and all that sorta stuff.

Give it a download, if you please.

If you really like a song, remember to go support the artist. In these troubled times, a hug or canned good may cut it, but you should probably just buy the song. And go to the shows, too. 

Tracklist:

  1. Gil Scott Heron & Jamie xx - I’ll Take Care of U
  2. The Weeknd - The Morning
  3. Ryan Hemsworth - Castles in England;
  4. Cee Lo - No One’s Gonna Love You (Paul Epworth Mix);
  5. Jojo - Marvin’s Room;
  6. Little Dragon - Ritual Union (Tensnake Remix);
  7. Drake - Dreams Money Can Buy
  8. Jacques Greene - Another Girl
  9. tUnE-yArDs - Gangsta (Ad Rock Remix)
  10. Metronomy - The Bay (Erol Alkan Extended Rework);
  11. Grimes - Oblivion
  12. Main Attrakionz - Take 1 feat. Asap Rocky
  13. Jacques Greene - Motivation;
  14. Spank Rock - Baby;
  15. Jay Z & Kanye West - Gotta Have it;
  16. Azealia Banks - 212
  17. Beyonce - Party feat. Andre 3000 
  18. Lloyd - Lay it Down feat. BoB

You can download it here

 

Jade, I love you. Everyone else, listen to this. Jade is the best. She also designs album covers for Main Attrakionz

Half of this could double as my end of year list. Trade out ‘Oblivion’ for ‘Vanessa’ and toss in Weeknd, Cee-Lo and Spank Rock for Delilah’s Go, CREEP ft. Nina Sky’s You, Patrick Wolf’s Together and maybe find space for Braids’ Glass Deers. I was gonna question the lack of Kelly Rowland but you have Phil’s white label mix of it.

JoJo’s take on Marvins Room is A++ always and forever.

(I will still probably make my own end of year list at some point. After exams.)

CREEP - Animals (feat. Holly Miranda)

#awesomewomenmakingawesomemusic

New video for the third single from the only gothy electronica queer female duo both named Lauren, CREEP. Not sure if it tops ‘Days’ or the absolutely-perfect ‘You’, or if Miranda matches up to past guest singers Nina Sky or Romy xx.

Still, this is pretty great, and apparently there are future singles already in the can with Blonde Redhead’s Kazu Makino, Sia and Grimes (!!!).

Seriously, are they the best, or are they the best?