Moving back another record from Visions we hear a distinctive shift in tone and composition that signifies the scaling evolution of Grimes as an artist. Halfaxa has the bedroom experimenter sound intact at an embryonic stage of development. The songs feel further from design, embedded as exercises, each track offering up various textural experiments between the dingy synths and her performative voice. At this stage she has her distinct charm but is yet to channel them into an impactful avenue.
For the most part it is her voice, dressed up in ambiguous reverb and echoes that dazzles. Constantly dancing in layers of arrangement around narrow, tempo keeping percussive drives, Grimes forges a constantly curious and peculiar environment. Its unsettled, yet lavish with an Ethereal quality. A couple moments of cohesion appear where more standard expectations of music create convention but on the whole its a wacky ride through quirky, advantageous experiments that land on something seemingly distant from other forms, approaching an illusive feeling of uniqueness.
Its fifteen songs at fifty two minutes tend to drone on, from one to the next without many peaks or valleys. Occasionally big slabs of keyboard synth tone drop in, creating a deja vu between other music I've heard them before. Its a fun listen but with most the songs just playing through a series of ideas with little direction, it pales in comparison of whats to come. Definitely worth but unable to shake the embryonic feeling.