Soundstalker - Grimes, Austra



We've seen a fair amount of musical trends pass through the mainstream in last few years. From the 80's synth-pop of La Roux to the anti-folk obsession brought about through the popularization of bands such as Mumford & Sons, Noah and The Whale and Laura Marling. At the moment I'd say we're nearly fading out of the dubstep phase, the headaches are starting to tire. However, have you noticed nearly every track coming out of bands like The Black Eyed Peas' has some techno-dub breakdown in the bridge? Lady Gaga's 'Born This Way' is a prime offender of this too. 

Well finding something new, 'the new sound'(aka Mighty Boosh), is a pretty fucking difficult task in music. The closest I've seen recently was Jai Paul's BTSTU. However, what can be done is combining sounds, interpreting them through new eyes, resulting in something familiar yet simultaneously curious...

Canadian solo artist, Claire Boucher aka Grimes, does just this. Described as being weird pop, yet being strongly influenced by "R&B-Industrial-Goth-Hip-Hop-Western-Medieval-Organum", there is definitely something unique to Grimes's sound. Through the self-released 'Geidi Primes' and 'Hafaxa', to the split album 'Darkbloom' with D'eon, Grimes exhibits her ability to successfully create both experimental, and more accessible pop music.
"Vanessa", the lead single from 'Darkbloom' glitters with soft sweet vocals and an air of unpredictability, resulting in an irresistible pop melody. "Crystal Ball" too has this element of pop in it, however approaches it through a much more sublime and blurry means.
go get lost in grimes.

Vanessa - Grimes
Crystal Ball - Grimes

Despite fellow Canadian's, Austra, not quite casting the same unique sound of Grimes, they are nevertheless a fantastic group. Fronted by the Florence-esque soaring vocals of classically trained and partial opera singer Katie Stelmanis, Austra won't be slipping out of your conscious easily. Their debut 'Feel It Break' is primarily an "electro-pop" album, but don't be dispelled by this fairly faceless term. Throughout the course of this truly amazing album you'll see the far more dynamic and complex reality of this band. This is primarily seen in the closing track, "The Beast", where Stelmanis performs a haunting and evocative piano and vocal solo- which will no doubt soon feature on some bank's commercial.
"Beat And The Pulse", is a track fueled by the gradual building of electronic beats which ultimately leaves you in a fury of, consuming yet hypnotic noise. The second single "Loose it" is even more infectious, however moves away from this Gothic sound, in a more buoyant and light pop direction.