BY Cam LindsayPublished Feb 21, 2012

In the last year, Claire Boucher has gone from an underground hero in the Montreal music scene to an internationally renowned newcomer on the cusp of greatness. Self-proclaimed as her first "real" album, Grimes's Visions capitalizes on the buzz her previous three releases generated by showing off her true potential as a genre-bending, radical-thinking artist. Knowing it was recorded with GarageBand is a testament to Boucher's resourcefulness, as Visions sounds like she's moved beyond her lo-fi past. Still balancing her avant-garde, electronic structures with a nonconformist twist on pop, songs undulate through her card catalogue of influences, with moments of shock and awe. Both "Be A Body" and "Vowels = Space and Time" explore K-pop's sky-high falsettos and Eastern-tinged strings, "Genesis" injects Kraftwerk's minimal techno with a childlike touch and "Symphonia IX" tinkers with new age and '80s pop. Releasing it outside of Canada on the influential 4AD makes complete sense, as Visions is just the kind of artistic statement that label has built its reputation on. It puts everything into place for Grimes to experience the breakthrough everyone's anticipating. The fact that it's both artistically bugged out and immediately rewarding is just the icing on the cake.
(Arbutus Records)

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