By Elio Iannaacci
Claire Boucher lives life without a cellphone. She only surfs the net when she absolutely needs to and although she tweets irreverent things such as, “when i grow up i want 2 b Patricia Arquette in True Romance,” the Vancouver-born singer-songwriter is neither iPad nor app addicted. Despite that, the 24-year-old has been hailed “the future” of pop by critics and bloggers alike. However, ask about her fawning fanbase—and the countless Tumblr, Blogger and Pinterest accounts she populates—and you’ll get next to nada. “I’m totally out of the loop,” she says en route from her current home base in Montreal to New York for a gig. “I don’t have the internet…and right now I’m in a tour van using somebody else’s line.”
Known to most simply as Grimes, Boucher may not be as hyper-connected as the average Jane but on her latest album, Visions, she knows exactly when to summon her tech-savvy powers. The third in a line of electronic, experimental affairs, Visions has grabbed the attention of Pitchfork (“a statement that feels focused, cohesive, and assured”), NME (“drips with instinct, an eerie sixth sense”) and The New York Times (“one of the most impressive albums of the year”).
The album takes a cerebral approach to sound, and part of Boucher’s M.O. is actually raising the bar on pop music as a genre. “Pop music is often seen as a low-brow category,” she says, “At its core, pop is about being immediately gratifying on a super-sensual level. It’s what feels best, what hits the musical G spot. But I think it can be really emotionally pleasant and experimental. It is just an underlying concept, then you can do anything.”
Visions, especially the stunning, synth-layered songs such as “Vowels = Space and Time” and “Genesis,” is partially driven by Boucher’s image-obsessed persona.
“Artists who have a strong visual component to their music tend to do well—that’s one of the realities of pop music,” says Boucher, whose videos “Oblivion” and “Vanessa” have been shared across a wide spectrum of art, fashion and music blogs.
“If you look at Lady Gaga, Beyoncé or Michael Jackson, they all have an extremely specific and strong aesthetic, and that’s something I want to bring into indie music,” she says. Her own look tips its hat to the ’90s film/comic book Tank Girl, as well as chic aliens. “I feel [images are] so imperative to developing the idea of an icon and that’s something I really care about. Music, too, is just iconography.”
Grimes enlists designers such as Montreal’s Renata Morales—who also frequently dresses Arcade Fire’s Regine Chassagne—to help her shape a visual identity. Her dream collaborator would be Kansas-born fashion designer Jeremy Scott. “I love him,” she says, unabashedly gushing. “He makes the high fashion manifestation of pieces I would wear in real life. I believe fashion takes the idea of what’s beautiful about the human form and fully realizes it.”
Grimes’ next steps are a soon-to-be-scheduled tour followed by more time in the studio, as well as more of her visions. “I have so much further to go and so much that I want to get done,” Boucher says. “Pop isn’t limiting to me. I feel that there’s so much room in that to explore.”
Join the discussion
Neither the author nor FASHION Magazine necessarily agrees with the comments posted here. Editors will not correct spelling or grammar. FASHION Magazine reserves the right to edit or delete comments entirely.
Brand New on Fashion
- Eva Longoria vs. Rooney Mara: Who wore it best on day 3 of the Cannes Film Festival?
- Topshop has launched a music festival style collection with Kate Bosworth: See all 21 Topshop Festival items now
- Rooney Mara is the face of Calvin Klein’s newest fragrance, Downtown Calvin Klein
- Lana Del Rey’s full FASHION Magazine Cover Shoot
- Summer 2013: Table of contents