Grimes delves into future

Courtesy of Tell All Your Friends PR

Courtesy of Tell All Your Friends PR

by Courtney Rogin

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Courtesy of Tell All Your Friends PR

Courtesy of Tell All Your Friends PR

Imagine the year is 2045 and there are flying cars that pilot themselves and real hover boards from “Back to the Future Part II” are available for purchase, not just replicas for all the nostalgics out there. What’s playing in the background of the winged vehicles transporting people to their Jetsons-style abodes? That would be the “Blade Runner”-esque style of Grimes’ new album “Visions.”

Hailing from Montréal, Québec, Claire Boucher (who takes on the stage name, “Grimes”) is officially three albums into experimental mechanical pop. “Visions” is Boucher’s third full-length album since her debut in 2010. The first two albums almost seem like practice when compared to “Visions.” Clocking in at just short of 48 minutes, the album represents the most efficient form of time travel the world has ever known.

“Visions” opens with a short, modern ‘90s flashback introduction track and breaks into electronica gold with “Genesis,” the first of many appearances of Boucher’s falsetto vocals. The falsetto continues in an almost ‘80s bubblegum Madonna-pop fashion in the next few songs. Combined with ambient sounds from synthesizers, Grimes has created a futuristic fusion of conflicting themes.

The classic track on this album is easily “Circumambient.” The track would serve nicely as background to scenes from “The Fifth Element.” The multiple vocal tracks (think Ace of Base) take on all sorts of depth, mixing with a moody, electronic beat. First-timers will likely be convinced there are more vocalists than Boucher on the track. However, it’s just her skillful manipulation.

“Skin,” the second to last track of the album, is the other must-hear song. As the longest song of the album, it is an atmospheric masterpiece. It is a hipster’s answer for the urge to listen to Enya, but in the best way possible. Boucher makes Enya-styling cool again. “Skin” takes the listener to a foggy fourth dimension, with a great mix of vocals and keyboards, attesting to her diverse talent as a solo artist.

The album fits well on the virtual iTunes shelf next to M83 and Kisses, when looking to explore the space wildernesses throughout the Milky Way, or just some basic stargazing from Earth.

Now, Boucher is also a visual artist when it comes to her performances, something easily imagined after a listen to her music. She has shown she is capable of electrifying the stage and the audience while touring with Lykke Li last year. Grimes has ventured out on a headlining tour this Spring, making a stop in San Diego Saturday night at Soda Bar. Tickets for the show, unfortunately, are sold out. Be sure to check out “Visions,” which was released on Arbutus Records Tuesday.

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