With a substantial five year gap, Canadian singer & songwriter Grimes follows up her alarmingly bright and uplifting Art Angels with a project similar in tone yet gleamed by compositions that adventure deeper into darker imaginations. With many breaks for her defined artsy Pop pleasers, the gaps between delve into avant-garde themes with esoteric dexterity. They arrive with an enjoyable regularity. Last time around just a fraction of the music explored these stretches of creativity. With much of the songs residing comparatively in the sweet spot of appealing fuzzy feelings of goodness.
The slow and sleepy awakening of its opening track lingers in Ethereal shadows, setting a sombre tone for darkness to come. Darkseld slides into the dystopian as Grimes rapidly spurts her alien words over the droning thud of a descending and rigidly monotonous baseline. Its hypnotic, the chemistry is ripe. Violence lingers in an ambiguity between moods as its Downtempo drum groove marches the dreamy track onward. 4AM takes the biscuit as its unassuming intro of meandering high pitched singing paves a diversion for a party synth and Drumstep beat to propel the music to another planet. Brilliant! as is much of the layering vocals and reverb abuse to come.
The tracks around these significant moments don't come with as much flair and cavalier but have held up well over my many listens through this record. Its doesn't pack the same punch and might disappoint some but I thing the less obvious tracks have depth. Grime's lyrics and compositional experimenting stand strong and paint slow begrudging atmospheres with a lot of beauty emanating. The slower tempos tend not to grab attention in the same way, yet as an album of subtleties, its full of them. A really great record with plenty to come back too. Its got me looking forward to more!
Favorite Tracks: Darkseld, Violence, 4AM, My Name Is Dark