Here’s a couple new gems from the freshly-revamped Arbutus Records website. Gotta love the blog digs.
First up, a new video from gothwave (/whatever) artist Grimes who’s currently on tour with Lykke Li. “Vanessa” features a horde of dancers starring in a video that’s stuck between the worlds of fashion photography and a kaleidoscope.
And then here’s “Japan Man” from Silly Kissers, which, for years to come, will be in direct lineage of “Mr. Roboto,” “I think I’m Turning Japanese,” and kin to “Chinatown.” The groovy 1970s greenscreen editing was done by the band’s singer Jane Penny.
Also, be sure to check out our upcoming interview with Arbutus artist Sean Nicholas Savage in our June/July print issue, and it’ll be online sometime soon.
Some savvy bloggers are already declaring Halfaxa “album of the year.” Granted the leaps 2010 has taken in music, for 22-year-old Claire Boucher to emerge so close to the front of the pack suggests how astonishing her sound is. The often haunting, always experimental lo-fi-psych meets R&B-filtered through-one-hundred-graveyards Halfaxa is Grime’s second release, following January’s underground darling Geidi Primes (which, had Halfaxa not lapped it, would likely have had its own share of top spots on year-end lists). As organic and digital samples loop and twist from pure pop to supernatural, you can almost see Boucher’s hands rising to count the steps as her voice rises and sinks, hitting notes she’s trained herself to find and following melodies of only sometimes discernible lyrics. Boucher’s voice has matured, and to listen to Halfaxa is to listen to an artist who has completely submerged herself in a journey half drug-hazed Disney plot, half scenic climb through ancient Chinese mountains. Grimes is about sound and seamless blending of influence, and Halfaxa offers some new twist on every listen. While “Devon” stands as example of Boucher’s solid pop writing and vocal majesty, “Hallways” is a twisted, haunted house remix of every ’90s R&B song ever drilled through HOT103… and it feels so good. (Arbutus Records, www.arbutusrecords.com) Kristel Jax