Throughout the creation of music, a vision is definitely one of the most fundamental features for any artist to realize. Canadian-born Claire Boucher has already released two albums under her Grimes moniker to light praise. Her vision of music is one that is unyieldingly catchy and ethereal in overall scope and, while maintaining a skillful hand at melody and songcraft, Grimes’ Visions is a fully-realized affair. Recorded in Boucher’s apartment throughout a three-week period, the album’s substantially rich settings make for thirteen tracks of exceptional music and a clear-cut success for Boucher.
On “Vowels” she takes a simple synth melody and decorates it with bubbly beats and breathy vocals. It’s never darkly shaded but it doesn’t have to be; with a strong influence from 80s beats and sounds, Grimes is invitingly refreshing. Later, with the luring, lulling beginning of “Nightmusic” Boucher adds different degrees of vocal chambers to an infectiously refined delivery. Songs like “Oblivion” are absolutely composed with streams of beats that are both refined and glistening. And, of course, on the shimmering “Genesis” Boucher combines a pattern-driven beat and her terrific voice into one sugary high. There doesn’t need to be a clear and obvious desire, but Boucher always aims for fantastic releases; the piano at the end of the aforementioned is an exceptionally heartfelt moment. The music relies on steady waves of concentrated sheer pop and, with a clear frame of mind, Boucher’s grade of progress is unquestionably strong.
Judging a book by its cover is a common folly, a sure-fire cliché that still gets enough play now, as ever. To look at Grimes’ cover and wanting to get lost in its ghost-like aesthetic is sheer silliness; the focus of Visions is to deliver clearly refined pop melodies through intoxicatingly sweet styles of electronic decadence. Boucher enlists sounds that are both aesthetically-pleasing and somewhat gloomy and, although the support comes from the music’s flashing tendency, there’s a strong vision of flowing, sequenced music throughout.
There’s a very diverse spectrum of pop music explored on Visions and there isn’t any more proof than with each song’s varied feel and drive. Sure, many times Boucher sounds like she’s channeling The Knife in tender ways (evocative, moving passages mixed with scintillating atmosphere) or for some, that Lykke Li strength that’s so prevalent now. There’s moments on songs like “Be A Body” where the music bridges gaps towards dance music and onto pure pop bliss; perhaps, even, Grimes is her own kind of gifted talent, with all the aforesaid superlatives included.