When: Nov. 24-25, 9 p.m. 2015
One major detail that resonates awesomely in the stark video for Claire Boucher’s synth-hypnotic, occasionally chilling “Oblivion,” her best single from 2012’s highly praised Visions, is that though she throws herself out there alone and on display during the guerrilla DIY shoots—down-home settings include a dirt-bike track and a high school football stadium—her panache and power are never threatened. To the contrary, the simplicity and joy of her lip syncing and dancing seem infectious to the otherwise oblivious bystanders around her. Though Grimes’s new, much-anticipated Art Angels (4AD) is undoubtedly more pop both in its cascading synth hooks and the ways in which Boucher’s upper-register vocals are harmonized with and within themselves, the artfulness and confidence with which she attacks a track like “Kill V. Maim,” with its faux cheerleaderlike vocal breakdown and mutating-but-thrumming rhythms, is more tremendous than on Visions. But to think Art Angels is even this close to straight-up chart-climbing pop would being doing a disservice to Boucher’s affinity for the beauty of the outsider—not to mention that the album’s back half cranks up the futurism (with its synth swells and jigs, chopped-up samples, and wispy vocal effects, “World Princess Part II” sounds like it was composed on a hoverboard). The assuredness of Art Angels was being bred on Visions—you can easily hear it happening now with these albums placed side by side—but that certainly doesn’t make the reality of it any less important.
Price: sold out