Monday, April 4, 2016

Song of the Day #292 - Grimes - Kill V. Maim

Are you going to the party? Are you going to the show?

I wasn't a huge fan of ol' Grimey Grimes for a long time. Like I thought Oblivion was pretty cool but I liked it largely because it was one of her more subdued songs, and I felt that what I saw as her core sound was maybe a bit "much". Honestly I think I was largely influenced by the late great Hipster Runoff, which I was reading a lot at the time, and Carles was a huge Grimes hater. And it's like... when someone hates on something, and it's that funny, (and it really was that funny, I remember some headline that was like... "Watch Grimey Grimes Ramble on About Some Shit no one Understands (Wow what is she even Talking About??)", rip), it's hard for it not to infect you a little.

So it was only recently that I actually listened to Art Angels and I gotta admit that this is some pretty fun exciting well-produced music. I know a lot of people complained that she "sold out" on this one but in my mind being able to bring such weird concepts and musical elements smoothly into mainstream pop paradigms/aesthetics really proves that you understand and love them. I dunno. Like "Kill V. Maim" has basically everything that Carles used to mock her about... weird screechy vocals, lyrics that make little/no sense (apparently it's written from the perspective of Al Pacino in Godfather II? That's actually so sick), bizarre structuring that seems to have no internal reference (I think this is the sort of stuff he complained about, I can't remember)... but it's also just a totally asskicking catchy pop song.

And now I actually love all that stuff! She's so unrestrained and expressive! Like the way her first verse goes shifts from tongue-in-cheek sugar pop to bizarre guttural screaming - it's a swinging pendulum that feels way too wild to be deliberately planned. The structure has this sort of relentlessness to it, too... There's the "B E H A V E arrest us!" which is sort of a punchy, bouncy energy to it, but before it can reach any sort of conclusion, we switch into the more continuous "I don't behave, I don't behave!" lines, and it feels like both "modes" haven't diminished by the time they switch, and that they are sort of continuing without you hearing them. By the time we get to the "The fire it's alright" part, where the energy enters yet another new state, all the previous ideas of the song are still raging in your head, and the relative silence makes them all the louder. Even when the song ends, you just want to start it again, because it hasn't ended in your head. Fantastic.

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