Tag Archives: Grimes


Album Review: Grimes – Art Angels

Grimes_-_Art_AngelsClaire Boucher, more famously known as Grimes, is a well-known name around CKUT 90.3 FM: she was an intern here years ago while studying neuroscience at McGill University, and got her start in the music world right here in Montreal. Her fourth studio album, Art Angels, emphasizes her self-described “ADD music,” bouncing around erratically between different musical styles under the nebulous umbrella of art pop. She continues to rely heavily on looping effects and layering, and utilizes her voice to it’s full potential, manipulating it with effects and in the next breath singing earnestly with the mature voice of a seasoned female artist.

The album in entirety is a dizzying experience, a roller-coaster of sound and effects shifting wildly from experimental electronica to Kimbra-esque summer pop, replete with lush melodies and full, intricate layers. All the while, Boucher’s falsetto floats lightly above the instrumentals, weaving in and out of the music. Art Angels is never disjointed; the tracks flow easily and fast, maintaining an intense pace and constantly engaging the listener to pay closer attention. The album is either a synesthete’s paradise or worst nightmare: the melodies and mixes produce technicolor visions at highway speeds, rarely slowing down save for a few well-placed tracks.

Art Angels opens with “Laughing and Not Being Normal,” a short experimental track that sets the tone for the album, incorporating different genres within a space of two minutes. The track ends in cacophony but leads right into the peppy electro-pop number “California.” For this track it is impossible not to bounce around; while not particularly a new sound, it is insanely catchy and well-engineered, pulling the listener into the lush jungle of the next twelve tracks. The third track is a wild departure from the previous songs; it features heavy guitar, aggressive drums, and rabid breathing and screaming provided by Boucher punctuates the rapid-fire Mandarin vocals whispered by Taiwanese artist Aristophanes.

After this the album begins a cycle of poppy electronic beats with high vocals mixed with darker, more experimental sounds. Following the trail blazed by “California, tracks such as “Flesh Without Blood,” “Belly of the Beat,” the title track “Artangels,” “Pin,” and the closer “Butterfly” retain the art pop formula, with minor variations and idiosyncrasies. Grimes shows her mastery of song engineering and production in these tracks, but the real experimental air that began at her roots is demonstrated in other tracks.

Take “Kill vs. Maim,” a track that melds seamlessly together while bouncing from 2000-era indie pop to light grunge; Boucher sings earnestly and without any voice manipulation one minute, then raises her voice electronically several octaves to an earsplitting falsetto in the next. Lightning-bolt claps of synth and electronic instruments add depth and variety to this wild, fast-paced track. “Easily” starts slowly with simple piano, pushing Boucher’s voice to the forefront, sans vocal manipulation. As a slow drum beat, reverb, and pedal-loop effects are introduced gradually, the track blooms into a lush sound garden, experimenting with layers and soundscapes. Finally, “Venus Fly,” which features the talented artist Janelle Monáe, is a punchy and powerful track that incorporates electronic and house beats with whimsical lyrics, demonstrating masterful mixing and production on the part of Boucher.

Overall, Art Angels demonstrates that Grimes is far from her point of peaking. Her innovation, will to experiment and incorporate many genres of music, and passion for the craft continues to shine, and she clearly put work into this album, hardly resting on her laurels from 2012’s Visions. It’s certainly refreshing to see a young artist’s creative spirit so prominently in their music, and I hope to see this trend continue as Grimes continues to pursue her passion.

-Review by Juliana Van Amsterdam 


New Shit Playlist 08.20.2012


NEW SHIT (music dept show) was large and in charge today, folks. Solo-hosted by moi, though I missed the Stolen Pony. So much local content y’all, have a listen to the show archive! – Noblesse Oblige

Show theme: Kzyiec > Klepana

    • Program (Silver Apples) by Hand Cream from Oh Rats EP
    • Swing by FLIST! from Original Words (Check out his show with Mozart’s Sister + UN + Hand Cream this Friday at La Tour Prisme!)
    • Black Cadillac by The Pink Noise from Gilded Flowers (Pleasance Records) Check out their show at Divan orange this Thursday, August 24th.
    • Blam’s Again by Drainolith from Fighting! (Editions Mego)
    • La Beija by Slim Twig from Sof’ Sike
    • Lindenfels by Ollie North from Lindenfels
    • New Calm Pt.2 by Ought from New Calm EP
    • Singing The Ending by Wymond Miles from Under The Pale Moon (Sacred Bones Records)
    • Old Black Sweats by Slug Guts from Playin’ In Time With the Dead Beat (Sacred Bones Records)
    • Children of the Moon feat. Tame Impala by The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends 

  • Albatross by the Lee Ranaldo Band featuring D. Mascis from A Tribute To Fleetwood Mac
  • 212 by Azealia Banks from 1991
  • Single Status by Mozart’s Sister from the Dear Fear EP
  • Early Adopter by Cobra & Vulture from Vocare
  • Oblivion by Grimes from Visions
  • Lofticries by Purity Ring from Shrines
  • Donuts By The Water Before I Die by Cool World (Providence, RI)check them out at La Brique this Saturday Aug. 25th  
  • Married On a Sunday by Parlovr from Kook Soul
  • Exercise 2 (School) by CFCF from Exercises
  • Better Version of Now by Ira Lee from Growl
  • Cosmic Queries by Willis Earl Beal from Acousmatic Sorcery
  • City Limits by The Great Sabatini from Matterhorn
  • Take My Bones Away by Baroness from Yellow & Green
  • Not Through by The Puffy Areolas from 1982: Dishonorable Discharge



Listen in: Tim Hecker + Grimes in conversation

Tune into New Shit today from 3-5pm to listen to a conversation that occurred between Tim Hecker and Claire Boucher (Grimes) on September 24, 2011 at last years Pop Montreal music festival! It’s an interesting and illuminating chat between two very different but equally intriguing artists.

As per always, you can find CKUT on the dial at 90.3FM in Montreal or listen along on-line at ckut.ca or play the show archive after the fact. New Shit is the music department’s radio program and you can listen to it every Monday from 3-5pm.

IYGEFunding Drive

The Montreal Sessions: June 2010

CKUT turns its airwaves over to local and visiting musicians playing the Suoni Per il Popolo Festival

Every Tuesday in June from 3-5pm, will be dedicated to live in studio performances, unreleased material, dj mixes, and prerecorded sets by local and visiting musicians playing the 10th annual Suoni Per Il Popolo Festival.

CKUT Montreal Suoni Sessions Per il Popolo

A Montreal double header of synthesis, sequence, sample, hold and sustain will resound on June 1st ,  Grimes and Drainolith performing their respective ethereal and indented saw tooth sounds live in studio.

The following Tuesday, June 8th, We will have some unreleased material from Important Recordings Cellist Julia Kent, and a DJ mix by Steve Bates that will feature Radian, Didi Bruckmayr, NTSC, Christof Kurzmann, Michaela Grill, and with a fresh Dreamcatcher recording made at ckut

June 15tha live in studio Performance by Nimalan Yoganathan,Montreal based cellist Rebecca Foon will be performing some of her solo work, and a pre-recorded set of sizzling synthesized Ssssssounds by Bernardino Femminielli, and a home recording by Pengo,

June 22th will feature a premiere for ckut’s airwaves of Aki Onda’s first cassette release : First Though, Best Thought, A home recording by Montrealer Leon Lo, and unreleased recordings by Talibam!

June 29th live recording of Grouper’s set from her concert at the casa on june 08th, rare recordings from members of pocahaunted and a dj mix by Oneohtrix point never.