Having gained a dedicated following in the blogging community releasing 7” singles from the likes of Health and Forest Swords, and quirky LPs from Nite Jewel and A Grave With No Name, London’s No Pain In Pop have re-released the debut LP from 22 year old Montréaler Claire Boucher, aka Grimes.
'Geidi Primes' is an exceptional album and a special kind of weird pop that is the synthesis of Boucher’s unconventional, genre-bending approach to making music. That said, it has a very personal feel to it with her incredibly luscious vocals inviting the listener into her uniquely constructed world of intricate melody and sparse sounds. The result, however, is a hauntingly beautiful record that is comparable to few others.
In its entirety, the album is little over 30 minutes long, but what it may appear to lack in length, is more than made up for in its breadth of sound. 'Gambang' begins with an out-of-time, almost dream-like sample that wouldn’t sound out of place in an old-fashioned children’s TV show, but when Boucher’s layered vocals enter, it instantly transforms and lifts the track into a tranquil and mesmerising effort.
'Venus In Fleurs' follows with more reverb fuelled vocals which Boucher uses more as an instrument and sound in its own right, rather than as a source of narrative through conventional lyrics. Album closer 'Beast Infection' is one of the more haunting tracks on the album and a perfect example of this. As I've said previously, its video fits impeccably with the minimal sounding audio, and gives space for Boucher to show off her perfectly pitched, soprano voice.
That’s not to say that all of the tracks on 'Geidi Primes' follow this unusual pattern. Earlier in the album, 'Rosa' is arguably the most accessible and commercial sounding song with a repetitive bass line that carries the track from start to finish. Boucher adopts a more conventional singing style but still manages to make the track her own with interesting drum patterns and distant backing vocals. A more conventional sound can also be heard in the slightly poppier choruses of 'Avi' and 'Feyd Rautha Dark Heart'.
As a whole, the album is a phenomenal debut, both musically and vocally, from a very creative individual. Originally released by Montreal’s Arbutus Records as a free download and cassette in early 2010, 'Geidi Primes' is now available on CD and vinyl, in support of her current UK tour and forthcoming European dates. If this didn’t crop up on your radar first time round, be sure to check this out. You won’t be disappointed.
FREE DOWNLOAD: Grimes - Rosa by Arbutus Sampler
STREAM: GRIMES - Venus In Fleurs
Purchase 'Geidi Primes' at your local retailer, Amazon.co.uk, iTunes etc. For more details on Grimes, head to Facebook.