Review: Grimes – ‘Flesh, Without Blood’

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A fresh approach partnered with the familiar formula that is Grimes results in a fast-paced rhythm ride that builds excitement for her imminent fourth album.

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Anyone who’s heard self-proclaimed “Urban Faery” Claire Boucher a.k.a Grimes’ music would think they know exactly what to expect from the artist’s upcoming fourth album Art Angels, but first single ‘Flesh, Without Blood’ may leave them second guessing.

With Grimes out to prove that she’s a producer as well as a singer (as the media fixated on her often forgets), ‘Flesh, Without Blood’, boasting superior production than anything she’s put out before, is a step in the right direction. Whilst past Grimes tracks focused on other-worldly synths and soft abstract vocals, this single comes with a new energy, laced with guitars and a newfound enthusiasm. Boucher’s words are easier to make out than ever before, and the range of tones throughout the song complement the subtle detours it takes on its horseback ride of a rhythm, which is kickstarted with the literal sound of a whip.

‘Flesh, Without Blood’ is definitely more pop-centric than the artist’s usual sound, but it is still undeniably Grimes and is crafted with more care and detail than the “made in my basement” sounds of Boucher’s first three albums. Accompanied with a video equal parts bizarre and beautiful, in which Boucher stars as a mob boss, a baroque lady in stylish shades, an angel in a pink cowboy hat, and seemingly as Grimes herself, ‘Flesh, Without Blood’ is the first taster of the new album that could rocket Grimes into stardom, with the full course that is Art Angels being released sometime this week.

‘Flesh, Without Blood’ is out now via 4AD.

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