Friday, February 17th, 2012
Grimes’ Visions; let her show you them
Raphaël OulletWho would have thought that the title of Canada’s queen of electro-pop would be such a contested one? Just last year, Toronto’s Katie Stelmanis-fronted Austra seemed to have the title locked down, having collected numerous accolades both at home and abroad for their debut album Feel It Break. And yet just a few months later, it’s Vancouver native and Montreal resident Claire Boucher who operates as Grimes that everyone is talking about, what with her new record Visions set for release next week.
Not that it’s a competition, of course, and beyond the superficial there’s not that much in common; Visions is Grimes’ fourth album (but her first for indie juggernaut label 4AD) so if it is indeed her breakout album – and the just-awarded “Best New Music” won’t hurt – it’s been a long time in coming. And her sunnier sound, defined by Boucher’s affection for both dream-pop and R&B and her infectious chirp of a voice, is rather a far cry from Austra’s darker, goth-indebted aesthetic and Stelmanis’ operatic vocals. So why draw parallels? Lazy writing, of course, and the fact that it’s nice to have someone at the ready to pick up the Canadian electronic flag and run with it while Austra lays low and recovers from a whirlwind year.
The Georgia Straight, The Washington Post, The Province, Exclaim, Pitchfork, Prefix, The Guardian, The National Post, and SF Station all have feature pieces on Grimes and NPR has Visions available to stream in its entirety. Grimes is at The Horseshoe on March 19 and you’re damn skippy it’s sold out.
Video: Austra – “None Of Dem”
Southern Souls has an interview with The Elwins, who are celebrating the release of their debut And We Thank You this coming Tuesday with a new video premiered at aux.tv and an album stream at Exclaim. They play a record release show at the Burroghes Building on February 24 and will also look to chase your CMW hangover away with a set at Rancho Relaxo on March 25 at 11PM.
Cold Specks has announced details of her debut album, to be called I Predict a Graceful Expulsion and due out on May 22 on Arts & Crafts at home and Mute worldwide. A video for the first single has just been released and she will be at The Music Gallery on March 22 as part of Canadian Musicfest – a much better setting for her than The Phoenix, I’d say. This show is in addition to the already-announced June 2 appearance at The Music Hall opening for Great Lake Swimmers.
Video: Cold Specks – “Holland”
John K Samson talks to Exclaim about what’s in store for the next Weakerthans album, which he’ll get started on when he’s done being a solo act. Samson does the solo thing at The Great Hall on March 22.
It’s not the specifics of the new album Spectral Dusk that I’ve been patiently waiting for, but this unexpected Evening Hymns cover of a Trembling Blue Stars tune is pretty nice as well. Spectral Dusk is due out sometime in the Spring.