“There’s always an obsession of the year,” said 22-year-old Claire Boucher, otherwise known as Grimes. The budding solo act has only been making music seriously for 16 months, but she believes that she’s finally found something that will stick.
Coming from a family of athletes 8212; her aunt and uncle were Olympians and her father was a basketball coach 8212; the Vancouver native was pushed into sports at an early age. However, unlike the rest of her family, Boucher was more inclined toward the arts.
“Dance was the closest sport to playing music,” said Boucher. After studying ballet for 11 years, she had to quit due to a serious foot injury. “Thank God is all I have to say,” she continued. “I hated it at that point.”
After completing the majority of her undergraduate degree at McGill, Boucher has decided to pursue music full-time.
A short-lived fascination with outer space prompted her to study physics and chemistry, but she wasn’t that good at it. “I get moderately good at a lot of things and then quit,” she confessed. “[But] music is definitely the thing that I’ve been able to do the longest and with the most [consistency]. [With everything else] I could see a foreseeable end,” she continued. With music, “I see infinite possibilities of what could still be done.”
And what is it about music that captures her fleeting attention span? “There’s so much technology that is new, it seems to be one of the only artistic fields that is constantly changing,” she said. “But if you look at dance or illustration, those are art forms that are limited [technologically]. The human body can only do so much.” Music, rather, is more bound by the imagination.
Boucher is surprisingly fragile in appearance. She stands no taller than 5-5 and weighs no more than 110 pounds. Her mismatched clothes 8212; two sizes too big 8212; hang off her loosely like a child who, for the first time, has chosen her outfit.
“I’m pretty annoying,” she divulged. “I have this problem called restless legs syndrome. It’s a really dumb neurological [condition] where you can’t stop moving.” The condition, which improves with age, would cause her to have a nervous tic as a child.
Although she didn’t experience too much teasing, she reminisced about one particular girl in her elementary class, named Vanessa, who did. The girl happens to be the inspiration for her upcoming single and music video whose release date is projected for a few weeks from now.
“Vanessa” is being released following an accidental leak of Grimes’ recent track “Crystal Ball.”
Releasing a new single isn’t the only thing that she is planning to do in the coming months. Local artist and good friend D’eon will be teaming up with the young musician for a 12″ split, whose total playing time will run about 16 minutes.
“It’s a really fun thing,” she said of the upcoming EP, which will be released sometime in April. “It’s not serious. All of the songs are very frivolous pop songs.”
Grimes has released two albums to date: Geidi Primes and Halfaxa. Says Boucher of her last LP: “Halfaxa was very dark and inaccessible. I want a body of work that could potentially appeal to anyone.” The new EP, she assures, is less experimental than her previous work.
Having done some minor touring in the past year, Grimes plans to head off on an extended North American and European tour this spring.
Catch Grimes when she opens for How To Dress Well at Casa Del Popolo on Jan. 30.