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Grimes - Halfaxa

  by Tara McEvoy

published: 7 / 4 / 2011

Grimes - Halfaxa
Label: Lo Recordings
Format: CD


Distinctive, but confusing and frequently inaccessible debut album from Grimes, the project of Montreal-based musician Claire Boucher

Montreal mightn’t yet be renowned for its output of eerily addictive trip hop, but all that may be about to change with the arrival of Claire Boucher, aka one woman music machine Grimes. Calling to mind the work of Warpaint, Salem and even elements of the music of Flying Lotus and Esben and the Witch, Boucher’s debut is hard to make sense of – a confusing and unrewarding work with only a few moments that make it worth the effort it takes to listen. A fusion of orchestral elements and club beats, ghostly vocals and electro tinges, 'Halfaxa' is doubtlessly a different listening experience from most other music out there, yet seems, at times, a tad inaccessible – like the work of last year’s other alternative starlet, Zola Jesus, Grimes’ work is almost definitely a niche market, unlikely to resonate with all but a few. That said, there are glimpses of brilliance on the album – on tracks such as ‘Swan Song’, ‘My Sister Says the Saddest Things’ and ‘Devon’ Boucher takes the trail blazed by acts such as Gang Gang Dance and upholds their kooky ethos, melding trance-inducing instrumentation with trippy lyrics, throwing in some of the low fi sensibilities of bands such as Toro Y Moi, and producing tracks that, varied of they are, are strengthened as a result of a melting pot of influences. Ultimately, however, 'Halfaxa' seems destined to take on a reputation as somewhat of a cult album – doubtlessly distinctive, but perhaps a bit too left of field to appeal to a wider audience.

Track Listing:-
1 Outer
2 Intor/Flowers
3 Weregild
4 ∆∆∆∆Rasik∆∆∆∆
5 Heartbeats
6 Sagrad Прекрасный
7 Dragvandil
8 Devon
9 Dreamfortress
10 World♥Princess
11 † River †
12 Swan Song
13 ≈Ω≈Ω≈Ω≈Ω≈Ω≈Ω≈Ω≈Ω≈
14 My Sister Says The Saddest Things
15 Hallways
16 Favriel

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