WHEN GRIMES – AKA singer-songwriter Claire Boucher – released breakout album Visions in 2012, stress impinged on her creative modus operandi: some of its brooding, dark-hearted electronica had been written after nine days without sleep in a darkened room.
Happily, Art Angels emerges from healthier times, and it shows. Crackling with radio-primed hooks, whipsnap breakbeats and Boucher’s helium-pitched vocals, Grimes’ third album makes a convincing strike for playlist ubiquity, with a healthy dollop of the oddball chucked in.
Highlight cuts California, Realiti and Kill V. Maim blitz sugar rush harmonies with pulsing basslines, while the title track takes its cues from Madonna’s late-’80s portfolio.
The off-kilter, when it arrives, brims with experimental ambition, most notably on Scream, which features Mandarin lyrics from Taiwanese rapper Aristophanes. Backed by Boucher’s cathartic screams, it merely adds more intrigue to one of 2015’s standout pop albums.
Watch the video for Flesh Without Blood/Life In The Vivid Dream.