“I’m really cold right now. I’m wearing my jacket and I’m laying in bed under my blanket,” says Claire Boucher, the singer known as Grimes who performs at Rickshaw Stop for a sold-out Noise Pop festival gig on February 22nd.
Boucher is speaking to us from her hometown of Vancouver a few days before a North American tour that will be followed by a tour of Europe this spring. And while she might be physically cold at the moment, her career is starting to heat up.
Recent notable press coverage, growing public interest and a new album, Visions, due out on indie tastemaker 4AD on February 21, is helping Grimes to throw a curve ball in the electronic pop genre. With the ever-changing color of her bangs, funky style and ethereal grooves complemented by her angelic vocals, Boucher emerged from obscurity in Montreal’s DYI scene to an international act to watch in just two years.
Citing influences from across the board (Mariah Carey and filmmaker Gregg Araki), her DIY ethos remains intact. She paints all of her own album covers and she’s in the process of editing her latest music video.
“Painting was my first artistic endeavor,” she says. “I started making music just a couple years ago. It just kind of naturally happened. People always need backup singers, so someone would be like ‘Claire, come over. We just need to record these vocals really fast.’ Then someone showed me how to use Garage Band, and a bunch of shit all came together at once. My friend started a record label so I released a record on his label, you know, for fun. And it’s progressed from there.”
This is not to say that Boucher’s skills are undeveloped. In fact, she’s been hitting the grind very seriously.
“Visions was written during a period when I quit my job, started making music full time and tried to justify that to myself,” Boucher says. “[I'm] constantly in this situation where I’m either on tour and everything is unstable, or at home and everything is completely different because I’ve been on tour for so long and I can’t handle being home. The constant sort of cycle of needing to be somewhere that I’m not kind of served as inspirational. I do feel like there is a real sense of, I don’t want to say searching, but that kind of vibe in it.”
Boucher says she is becoming much more obsessed with the visual impact of music videos. (Check out her artsy video for “Vanessa” below). She also just shot the video for “Be A Body” and is eager to start editing it. “Every minute that I’m not working, I just try to do that,” she says.
With an aggressive tour schedule—after Noise Pop she makes her way to SXSW, followed by a European tour this spring—she’s already thinking about her next move.
“I’m off the tour in June and I’m going to hang out in Berlin,” She says. “I guess I’ll start recording my record. I think I’ll be really inspired by Europe.”
Grimes peforms Noise Pop 2012 with co-headliner OOOOO at Rickshaw Stop on February 22. Tickets are sold out.