Grimes – Genesis

I’ve been listening to this song over and over for the past few weeks. It’s getting to be an obsession.

One of the things I love about Grimes (Claire Boucher) is that her music is genuinely difficult to classify. Her latest album (Visions – from which this track is taken) is the most melodic, most accessible thing she’s done so far. You get the feeling she’s at least trying to reach a wider audience.

The AllMusic site claims she: “crafts a haunting brand of lo-fi dance music that fits stylistically within the goth-electronic umbrella coined ‘witch house’ or ‘grave wave'”. I think this does her a disservice inasmuch that it doesn’t get across the lightness of her music and, particularly, her voice – which is much closer to the angels than devils.

Anyway. This song sounds like something from the BBC Radiophonic Workshop and Kraftwerk and Altered Images and Bjork and… you can dance to it or you can just lie there and let it carry you away. Her singing is brilliant, its surface ethereality and whimsicality almost masking her fantastic range. The loop effects add a further degree of mystery to the impenetrability of her lyrics (see below).

The most thrilling, and most swoonsome, bit for me comes at around 1:18 when it switches to the lovely, and simple, piano refrain and she soars off with a new melody. Again, you can’t really tell what she’s singing about but it’s so gorgeous and uplifting that it doesn’t really matter – she’s got you.

Below is the performance from Jools Holland’s Later. And below that is the studio version. Followed by the lyrics, if you need them.

My heart will never feel
Will never see
Will never know

Oh, heart
And then it falls
And then I fall
And then I know

My heart will never feel
Will never see
Will never know

Holding on
I am a vagabond
It’s always different
I am the one who falls

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About Paul Saxton

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