Electro pop tart Grimes’ latest album, Visions, is in heavy rotation on my playlists. Her quirky style inspired my latest nail concoction. Do you know why I downloaded her album? Because the Gucci Goth Tumblr posted a picture of her with the announcement of the album’s upcoming drop, and she looked totally adorable. So tough and so cute, walking down an alley with cotton candy pastel bangs and a floral dress with badass boots.
The image informed how the music hit me. I had this whole cinematic image of this goth pixie wandering the night streets, looking for someone to buy her a Slurpy and take her to a rave. Soon the video for her single, Oblivion, appeared on my Tumblr dashboard. It depicts Grimes, aka Claire Boucher, dancing with free spirited abandonment in a grunged out fit at, of all places, a dirt bike race! It was too perfect, and Oblivion became one of my favorite songs on the album. To top it off, my favorite It writer, Tao Lin, gave her a nod on his Twitter. I had to admit, the hype had got me.
I watched a video of her being interviewed, and she didn’t come off as the average indie It Girl. She had an excitable nerdy charm, and without all the make up from her editorial pics, she had a little acne, signaling the lack of fucks that she gives with regards to what people think. It is revealed that she also made her metal inspired album covers. She’s not just some product of the hype beast. She’s a thoughtful artist who deserves all the attention that she’s getting. I’m convinced that next, I’m going to find out that someone created her in a lab with me in mind.
We are a culture of brands. There are a million people out there that can sing, dance, or throw some tunes together on Garage Band, and in that massive shuffle, you have to create a slick package to deliver your art. An artsy fart like me is hesitant to give credence to branding. It really freaked me out when I started to see copies of Catcher in the Rye at Urban Outfitters because I felt like The Man was exploiting my culture for the sake of their brand, but creative branding has been turning out some really innovative shit. Consider Odd Future or the ASAP crew. Both groups have their own unique sound that could probably stand on its own without the attached imagery, but the collective vibe of their brands catapulted them into superstardom. Branding doesn’t always come from corporate zombies in suits. It comes from creative minds who are truly about pushing their ideas as far as possible.