City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Grimes, The Liquid Room, 28 August 2012, Review

By Euan Andrews - Posted on 04 September 2012

Claire Boucher of Grimes
Show Details
The Liquid Room
Claire Boucher

Out on the far-flung hipper vistas of modern pop where the coolest indie-kid cognoscenti hang out, chattering amongst themselves about random genre-bending musical climes such as Hypnagogia and Chillwave, Grimes is very much a name to drop.

AKA Montreal’s Claire Boucher, Grimes had already released albums on a couple of small labels before signing to the still all-conquering 4AD imprint in early 2012 and subsequently putting out the acclaimed “Visions”, an LP sure to end up on lots of End-Of-Year-Best lists. 

4AD is a pretty good fit for Grimes, as the label still associated with the awestruck grandeur of Cocteau Twins finds itself with another artist making music which seems to throb with sensual longing across dark nights. 

While Boucher’s thin voice is no match for that classic band’s Elizabeth Fraser in even a low-key mode, the music gushes and cascades in a manner similar to Cocteau Twins, or any of the occasionally mocked ilk who followed them, retooling the art of shoegazing for the post-dubstep generation.

Boucher herself makes for a diminutive figure onstage, at first hooded and crouched like a skeletal Jawa, before slowly revealing herself and becoming more animated and joyous during tonight’s short set. 

Musically, she filters eighties alternative pop through a 21st century prism, to such an extent that there is little in the way of sharp edges or tension, leading to a sense of having all emotion and feeling wash through you and out the other side.

Boucher flits and bobs nimbly behind an armoury of mixing desk and synthesisers, flanked by a Front 242 clone on electro-drum pad and a body-suit clad dancer of indeterminate sex resembling a hairier version of Chris Cunningham’s worst Aphex Twin nightmare. 

A packed Liquid Room exudes clear love for Boucher, who by show-end is gleefully grinning and bouncing around the small stage. It feels to me, however, that we have only just scratched the surface of Grimes, and may have found that there is nothing but surface.