Review Summary: Witch house in development.
Usually, the artwork of an album is what first peaks my interest. This occurred with artists such as Dan Deacon, The Get Up Kids, and Sonic Youth. One day, I was in a record store, looking for new artists that tickle my fancy -- because of the artwork, this LP immediately caught my eye. I studied the skull stuffed with roses and eyes whose empty, black eyes I was staring at for about 5 minutes to completely grasp the artistic validity of the piece. Once I bought it, I was rather unsure; Grimes’ artwork is beautiful in a very ambiguous way…
Just like her music.
Claire “Grimes” Boucher, an electronic musician from Montreal, releases her dreamy, reverb-drenched, danceable debut album, ‘Geidi Primes.’ On this album, inspired by amorous security, heartfelt lyrics and the ‘Dune’ books, Grimes creates a very romantic, psychotropic world which shifts in influence from goth to ambient music, electronica to lo-fi, creating a hazy musical dream that rivals that of Balam Acab. In her album, Boucher displays perfectly the original and often intentional basis of dream pop.
Though muffled by the echoes of the vocalist’s empty heart, the lyrics seem to be a vital piece of this LP. At times, they can get very romantic and dependent: “When you say my name I know you love me /
When you touch my arm I know you care”, which appear on “Zoal, Face Dancer.” They may be hauntingly poetic: “Oh, where is my heart / I can never tell her / That she is a witch / Sewing up my heart again / Love in equal stitch” on “Rosa.” At times, these works of libretto may be strictly undefined, as on the opening “Caladan.” Flowery descriptions of failed romances complement every song well.
The vocals are also a huge part of the music on ‘Geidi Primes.’ However, unlike most other artists, her voice possesses a sort of fluffiness and flow that resembles that of Ruth Radelet. As such, rather than singing the lyrics intelligibly, she uses her skill as more of a musical instrument. This occurs on “Grisgris” and “Gambang”, where the indiscernible lyrics show the focus more on melody than ideas or lyrical content -- indeed, most lyrics-based websites can’t even separate the melodies and vocals.
The melodies presented on this album seem to be very rushed, and, at times, very repetitious. This concept is exhibited on “Rosa”, whose repeated bass riff can get very dull. It is also shown on the eastern-esque tracks, which include “Sardaukar Levenbrech”, “Venus in Fleurs” and “Beast Infection”; these tracks are all very boring and stand out among this dreamy album. As such, the songs appear to be a bit thrown-together as far as composition is concerned -- little progression can, sometimes, be appealing in pop music, but it does not work on ‘Geidi Primes.’ It underwhelms and fails to challenge the listener with new sonic textures. Also, the production favors the lo-fi aesthetic of the album in an unappealing way. Too quiet and simple, this LP fails to completely satisfy the auditor totally.
While listening to ‘Geidi Primes’, I realized what the album cover was portraying. The cover art’s ghoulish mascot, agonized by the involuntary consumption of her own eyes, now sees true beauty -- or, at least, appreciates a certain beauty which, blurred by the overproduction and hype of today’s pop music, becomes a more golden concept. ‘Geidi Primes’, though a bit underwhelming and a bit repetitive, achieves this sort of beauty very well. 3.5/5