Grimes has been very clever with the first release from her new album Art Angels (Which is coming very, very soon). With the backlash from ‘Go’ that she got last year, she doesn’t bend to the wishes of her original fans, but instead has her own agenda and experimental path. ‘Flesh Without Blood’ is a pop banger, full stop. ‘Life In The Vivid Dream’ is the comfortable embrace of anyone who liked Visions. First things first, ‘Flesh Without Blood’ is a more organic take on the poppies moments of Visions such as ‘Genesis’ or ‘Oblivion’, where Grimes is playing a guitar throughout, but synthetic drums remain throughout. It’s a perfect collision of what you’d like to hear and something entirely new. Grimes packs in her newfound liking for ‘proper’ singing in the verse and chorus with the cheeky wink of ‘uncontrollable’ in her old voice again. It’s an anthem about letting go and not caring anymore, something that feels like a conclusion to the in-between-albums drama and hype that Grimes has had placed upon her after Visions.
‘Life In The Vivid Dream’ is the more experimental follow-up to ‘Flesh Without Blood’, when Grimes’ vocal flutterings that dominated Visions comes back in the outro. There’s even a clean acoustic guitar that works very well, but then Grimes’ electronic drums arrive, trading between brittle and heavy to create some weird effects. She even swaps accessible pop lyrics for evocative imagery about ‘angels will cry when it’s raining / tears that are no longer clean’. The pairing of ‘Flesh Without Blood’ with ‘Life In The Vivid Dream’ is a masterstroke of surprising the audience yet again. I won’t call it for sure, but Art Angels is not going to be anything you expect – like it or not.
(P.S. Watch the video – it’s weird and wonderful)