Grimes’ Art Angels is one of our favorite records of 2015. It was met with resounding praise upon its release last month, but the process was not without labor pains; After scrapping the first version of her followup to the wildly successful Visions for being “too depressing,” the animated sprite that is Claire Boucher moved to California to make the neon fever dream that is her new album.
The FADER scored the first big cover story of this new album cycle, and apparently, they brought along video cameras. Art Angel is a mini-documentary from the FADER crew, the result of interviews shot at her home in Los Angeles and her performance at Terminal 5 in New York City. We get to see the first meeting (via Skype) with Aristophanes, the Taiwanese rapper Boucher found on the Internet and recruited for a feature on Art Angels track “SCREAM,” as well as snippets of their New York performance.
It’s been interesting to see how Boucher handles the massive pressure of mounting expectations, as well as the continued annoyance of people asking to do her job for her. “So much of my music is against the people who are trying to take it away from me,” she says in the doc. “You have to push people, and you have to get aggressive.”
Despite the aggression, Boucher has found freedom in diversifying the imagery of her Grimes project; she’s intent on creating characters to further abstract Grimes from herself. She’s hyper aware of the signifiers she uses, embracing the connotation and subtext that comes with absorbing influences from the world of pop culture. “Every sound and every color and every visual has a giant connection to human history that goes back thousands of years,” she explains. “You can’t just erase that stuff and pretend it doesn’t exist. That visual and that sound means all these things whether you want it to or not.”