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Preview: Grimes 

The singer, whose album Art Angels hits this week, plays Republic Nov. 9

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Photo by Rankin

Who is Grimes? Not even Claire Boucher knows for sure. With every new piece of information an artist gives us, we should get to know that person better, but the opposite is true of Boucher: Her 2012 LP Visions, issued when she was 23 years old, still counts among the most surprising albums of the decade, sublimated bedroom pop that materializes, dances and vanishes like a hologram in dry ice. (For an idea of the level on which she's operating, "Oblivion" drew multiple song of the year accolades, and it's arguably her second best vision — "Genesis" wins for its layers of Kabuki-loosing whimsy.) The record's ecstatic reception seemed to throw Boucher for an equally dizzying loop: She wrote a club banger intended for Rihanna ("Go"), recorded it herself with fellow Vancouver producer Blood Diamonds, and then rebooted the rest of her new recording, presumably a course correction away from the mainstream inroads that track suggests. ("It sucked," she told The New York Times; the one surviving keepsake, "REALiTi," most definitely does not.) The actual follow-up, Art Angels (4AD), now has an impending release date (Nov. 6 for digital, Dec. 11 for vinyl/CD) and multiple sneak peeks, each a red herring for anyone keeping up: Initial singles "Flesh Without Blood" and "Life in the Vivid Dream" couldn't have less in common, two opposed acts — the former a sugar-high Taylor Swift twirl, the latter an acoustic-ballad crash — fused into one Boucher-directed video starring bloodthirsty angels and murdered baby dolls. Last week came "SCREAM," a slab of Asian House of Shock rap/rock in Mandarin by Taiwanese rapper Aristophanes. If there's a vision here, it's not yet clear. Nicole Dollanganger opens. Tickets $27.50 in advance, $30 day of show.


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