Grimes - Geidi Primes - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Grimes - Geidi Primes

by Rich Morris Rating:6 Release Date:2011-08-08

This debut LP from 22-year-old Claire Boucher, aka Grimes, looks towards Broadcast, Björk, Kate Bush, The Knife, Mum and Chromatics for its codeine-heavy sounds. Boucher's fluttery vocals wind their way through the background of most tracks, acting as another effect and often repeating semi-cryptic phrases such as "I won't take your breath away" on 'Avi'. Sometimes she give up on words altogether and occasionally unleashes an unearthly, eastern-influenced soprano wail.

The tunes are just as illusive in places, but occasionally a strong melody emerges, as it does on 'Rosa' and 'Caladin', both of which are quietly impressive bedroom-pop masterpieces. 'Venus in Fleurs', meanwhile, sticks out with its harsh, percussive sounds, which strike a darker note than the rest of the album. The musical variation is laudable, ranging from electro-pop crunch, fashionable post-rave synth and cosmic disco drift to the traditional Indian sounds on 'Sardauker Lavenbrech'. Frequently, however, once you've admired the inventive mix of sounds, there's little else to keep you hooked.

For the most part, this is sweet-natured, intimate music, but its insularity verges on awkwardness. Many of the songs sound more like laptop-based experiments than finished pieces. All this makes Geidi Primes an intriguing but never captivating listen. Occasionally, as on closer 'Beast Infection' or 'Zoal, Face Dancer', the singing becomes so faint, the melody so vague, that you strain your ears to listen, only to discover there's not nearly as much happening as you hoped.

For all that, this is a brave album, never afraid to detour from the set song structure in pursuit of an interesting sound or texture. It probably rewards repeated listens. Ultimately, though, you feel Boucher may have pulled her punches a little, making an album which is polite and tasteful when it could smack you round the head with its experimentation. Nevertheless, this is still a curious debut from a promising artist with obvious talent. It will be worth keeping an eye on Boucher to see what she does next.

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