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Claire Elise Boucher (born March 17, 1988), better known by her stage name Grimes, is a Canadian singer-songwriter, producer and visual artist. While she generally works in the field of experimental electronic music, her sound is known to cover a wide range of genres including Dream Pop, Synth-Pop, R&B, and Hip-Hop.

Her name is a reference to the artist Ken Grimes, and to UK grime music, which she listed as her three favorite genres on her MySpace page without even knowing what the genre was.

Born and raised in Vancouver, Grimes started writing and recording songs while in college, which made her miss a great number of classes and led to her being expelled from her university. She then dedicated herself to be a full-time musician, collaborating with various DJs such as Majical Cloudz, making an EP with musician d'Eon and opening shows to singer Lykke Li.

She began releasing independently in the late 2000s, but it was her third album Visions in 2012 that catapulted her to fame, predominantly on the strength of its singles "Genesis" and "Oblivion", with the latter frequently considered among the decade's greatest songs.

After the release of Visions, she went on tour opening for Lana del Rey. She released Art Angels in 2015, marking a stylistic shift and asserting her prowess as a producer, engineering and producing the entire album herself. Following a five-year hiatus, she released Miss Anthropocene in 2020, a Concept Album about the goddess of climate change.

Her upcoming album, Book 1, another concept album described as "lesbian space opera," featuring collaborations with other producers. The album has no set release date.

In addition to her solo work, she has also collaborated with a myriad of other artists, such as Jack Antonoff (Bleachers), Caroline Polachek, Janelle Mone, LOONA, Bring Me the Horizon, BloodPop, HANA, Poppy, IC3PEAK, Ashnikko, BENEE, Illangelo, and Anyma, to name a few.

While she's mostly retired from live performances, she still tours as a DJ.

Also achieved Memetic Mutation for looking like Helga Pataki. Compare for yourself.

Discography:

Albums:

  • Geidi Primes (2010)
  • Halfaxa (2010)
  • Visions (2012)
  • Art Angels (2015)
  • Miss Anthropocene (2020)

EPs:

  • Darkbloom (2011, in collaboration with musician d'Eon)

My heart, I never see, I never feel, I never trope:

  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: "We Appreciate Power" is written like a propaganda piece that forwards the interests of an evil, all-conquering artificial intelligence.
  • Addiction Song: "Delete Forever" is about the many friends and loved ones she lost to opiate addiction, written on the night Lil Peep passed away.
  • Album Intro Track: "Outer," "Infinite Love Without Fulfillment," and "laughing and not being normal," which are all under two minutes and act more as preludes to the album.
  • Album Single: "Go," and "Pretty Dark."
  • all lowercase letters: "laughing and not being normal."
  • Alter-Ego Acting: The "art angels" are the various different voices and personas she would channel when writing music that wasn't about herself.
  • Alternate Album Cover:
    • Halfaxa has three different album covers for the streaming version, Lo Recordings release, and the vinyl cover.
    • Miss Anthropocene has four different covers, the standard, deluxe, and two versions illustrated by Rupid Leejm.
  • Ambiguously Bi: Songs such as "Player of Games" and "Before the Fever" refer to both explicitly male and female love interests. Her other love songs often don't use gender-specific pronouns, and are free to any interpretation.
  • And I Must Scream: The idea of "We Appreciate Power". It presents itself as something of a song praising backing your consciousness up as an AI, when the nu-metal influence underscoring the song suggests the opposite.
  • Anti-Christmas Song: "Christmas Song ii (grinch)," a joke Christmas song she made with her stepbrother, rapper Jay Worthy.
    I'm the grinch! I'm the grinch, motherfucker, I'm the grinch! Yeah!
    • There's also the Visions bonus track "Christmas Song" (also featuring Jay Worthy), but it has nothing to do with Christmas outside of the title.
  • Anti-Love Song: "Flesh Without Blood".
  • Apocalypse How: Miss Anthropocene describes a Class 6 event.
  • Bizarre Tastein Food: Admitted in an episode of "Food Diaries" on Harper's BAZAAR that she only ate spaghetti for around two years while on tour for Art Angels, and became very ill because of it, to the point that her hair stopped growing.
    • This moment gained some Memetic Mutation for its ridiculousness, with people online making edits of Charli XCX dancing in front of a green screen with Grimes talking about spaghetti in the background.
  • Break-Up Song:
    • "Devon," which was most likely named after her ex-boyfriend Devon Welsh, aka Majical Cloudz.
    • "Player of Games" was assumed to be about her breakup with Elon Musk.
  • Call-Back: The background vocals on "Realiti" repeat, "I go back alone," a lyric that first appeared on "Heartbeats," a Halfaxa bonus track.
  • The Cameo:
    • Majical Cloudz is in the mosh pit in the "Oblivion" music video.
    • Bloodpop, who produced the song, appears in the "Go" video.
    • Jennie Kim (from the K-pop group BLACKPINK) and Dorian Electra star in the "Shinigami Eyes" video.
  • Careful with That Axe: The appropriately named "Scream" off of Art Angels.
  • Changed for the Video: The "California" video uses a more subdued, synthier version of the song than the one on the album.
  • Christmas Songs: "Christmas Song," a bonus track from Visions, and "Christmas Song II (grinch)," posted on her YouTube channel. Both are collaborations with her stepbrother, rapper Jay Worthy.
  • Concept Album: Miss Anthropocene is a loose one about an "anthropomorphic goddess of climate change" inspired by Roman mythology and villainy.
  • Cover Version: Teamed up with friend and fellow musician HANA to cover Tegan and Sara's "Dark Come Soon."
  • Crisis of Faith: "Know the Way" is about rejecting Christianity.
  • Darker and Edgier: Miss Anthropocene is easily her darkest album, adding elements of industrial and nu metal.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": Doesn't like the name Claire, prefers to go by just "c" instead.
  • Downer Ending: The "Player of Games" video ends with Grimes' character losing the duel and being slain by the knight.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: ''Lethe'' an unofficial EP she uploaded to MySpace in 2007. It was made before she learned music production, so it is very lo-fi, with almost inaudible vocals and offbeat drums.
  • Earth Song: Visions bonus track "Life After Death" is about deforestation.
  • Echoing Acoustics: Reverb is pretty much everywhere, but notably used in "Genesis" and "Skin."
  • Epic Rocking: "IDORU" is a little over seven minutes, and is her longest song to date.
  • Epileptic Flashing Lights: The "Shinigami Eyes" video, which used an XR stage for the visual effects.
  • Fallen Angel: Evoked in "Enjoy the Angels on Earth" (the unreleased song featured in the video for "Player of Games.") Also includes Broken Angel.
    I fall like Lucifer, I can't beat God
    And now I'm here on Earth, because I'm not an angel, baby
  • Fangirl: She's quite open about her admiration for other artists that she's a fan of, such as Lana del Rey, Nicole Dollanganger, Taylor Swift, BLACKPINK, and Mariah Carey. Especially Mariah Carey.
  • Friendship Song: "Rosa" is about female friendship.
  • Future Spandex: The matching blue and purple catsuits worn in the "We Appreciate Power" video.
  • Gaia's Lament: Much of Miss Anthropocene is based on this trope: Grimes herself stated that the album is centered around a vicious "goddess of climate change". "Violence" in particular refers to mankind's treatment of the Earth as an abusive relationship which will inevitably lead to this trope.
  • Genre Mashup: While her style overall can best be described as artsy Indie Pop, it also incorporates elements of several other genres. As newspaper The Guardian summarized, "By sounding a little like everything you've ever heard, the whole sounds like nothing you've ever heard." Grimes herself describes her style as "ADD music" and lists a variety of bands and artists ranging from Yoko Kanno, David Bowie, Aphex Twin, Nine Inch Nails, and Mariah Carey as her influences.
  • Gratuitous Russian: Grimes took Russian at university, and she sings in Russian in some of her songs, like "Venus in Fleurs" and "Grisgris." "Sagrad прекрасный" and "принцесса" have titles in Russian, but don't feature any Russian lyrics.
  • Grief Song: "World♡Princess" and "Delete Forever." Both songs were written about close friends of Grimes who passed away from drug use.
    Thinking of her, all my life
    Now I go down
  • Heart Symbol: "Infinite ❤ Without Fulfillment."
  • I Am the Band: When performing live, she's usually playing solo, layering musical stems over each other while she sings, only accompanied onstage by backup dancers.
    • Sometimes friend and fellow musician HANA joins her.
  • In the Style of: "We Appreciate Power" could arguably seen as a nod to Babymetal due to its fusion of synthpop, industrial, electropunk and Nu Metal.
  • Kaleidoscope Hair: With colors such as pink and blue.
  • Let's Duet: "Venus Fly" is a collaboration with singer Janelle Monáe. Additionally, "SCREAM" and "Darkseid" are collaborations with Taiwanese artist 潘PAN, although that may also count as A Wild Rapper Appears!
  • Lighter and Softer: Art Angels has a brighter, more upbeat sound than her gloomy, atmospheric older material (though this doesn't always extend to the lyrics).
  • Like Is, Like, a Comma: It's pointed out how often she inserts "like" into her sentences. She even lampshades this by saying she talks like a valley girl.
  • Longest Song Goes Last: "IDORU" is the final song on (the standard edition of) Miss Anthropocene and clocks in at seven minutes.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: A great deal of songs in the Visions album, including the opening track "Infinite ❤ Without Fulfillment," "Genesis," "Oblivion," among others. "Oblivion" is a cheerful pop song about a sexual assault Grimes experienced as a teenager and features the chorus, "See you on a dark night."
  • Limited Lyrics Song: "Genesis" and "Be a Body."
    • Many songs from Art Angels have this, like "California", "Flesh Without Blood", "Pin".
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Defied Trope in "Butterfly". She has discussed before how much she dislikes this trope and being taken for one herself because she's quirky and dyes her hair weird colours.
  • Mickey Mousing: In a few of her music videos:
    • In the "Oblivion" video, Grimes leans back and falls out of frame just as the instrumental drops, midway through the song.
    • In "Flesh Without Blood," she kicks her leg in the air just as the bridge ends and chorus revs up again.
    • The "Kill V. Maim" video is full of this, with Grimes and the dancers moving and freezing in time with the beat at the start. Grimes also shadowboxes in time with the drums.
    • In "Violence," there's a shot of the dancers all swinging their fake swords at Grimes in tandem with a drum fill right before the first chorus. At the second chorus start, there's a lens flare. The synchronized dance is also timed to the beat.
    • In "Delete Forever," Grimes raises her arms and flings herself to the side alongside the "woo!"
    • The swords clashing in the "Player of Games" video is satisfyingly timed to the music.
  • Minimalistic Cover Art: Subverted for Visions, Art Angels, and Miss Anthropocene, which are lush with detail.
  • Miniscule Rocking: Has many of these: "Gambang" (1:34), "Outer" (1:11), "rasik" (1:34), "Dragvandil" (1:38), "River" (1:56), "Ophia" (1:09), "Infinite Love Without Fulfillment" (1:35), "Eight" (1:47), "Visiting Statue", (1:58), "Know the Way" (1:44), "laughing and not being normal" (1:47), and "Life in the Vivid Dream" (1:27).
  • Mood Whiplash: The music video for "Flesh Without Blood/Life in the Vivid Dream" which cuts from the upbeat "Flesh Without Blood" to the mournful "Life in the Vivid Dream" with little transition. Also extends to the visuals, which combine bright, kitschy colors and costumes with slasher horror.
  • Multilingual Song: "Darkseid" has a refrain in English, and verses in Mandarin.
  • Mystical Pregnancy: Loosely evoked on "So Heavy I Fell Through the Earth," which she says was inspired by the ego death that took place when she decided to have a child. The lyrics portray the task of motherhood as having so much weight (metaphorically and literally) that it drags her down through the earth.
  • New Sound Album: Art Angels is definitely one of these. She changed the electronic-lo-fi-dream-pop to a louder, direct electropop sound.
    • Miss Anthropocene adds influences from Industrial music and Nu Metal, the end result being arguably her darkest work to date.
    • Book 1 is shaping up to be more hardcore-techno and dance inspired, featuring collaborations with other producers like Eartheater and Illangelo.
  • Non-Appearing Title: Most of her songs' titles don't appear in the songs themselves. In fact, it would be easier to list the songs where the titles do appear rather than the ones where they don't:
    • "Rosa," "Be a Body," "Skin," "Know the Way," "Entropy," "Go," "California," "Belly of the Beat," "Easily," "Pin," "Realiti," "Butterfly," "So Heavy I Fell Through the Earth," "Violence," "New Gods," "4AEM," "We Appreciate Power," "You'll miss me when I'm not around," "Player of Games," and "Shinigami Eyes."
    • Art Angels is her only album with a Title Track.
  • Post-Adventure Adventure: Grimes made headlines back in 2009, before she started her music career, when she attempted in sail down the Mississippi river in self-built houseboat with a friend.
  • Precision F-Strike: There is very little profanity in her music, but she has made the most of the f-bombs she's dropped on "My Name Is Dark" and "Shinigami Eyes."
    And I'm so fucking high!
  • One-Letter Name:
    • Starting in 2018, Grimes goes by c in her personal life. Not the third letter of the alphabet, but the symbol for the speed of light.
    • When their child was born, Grimes and Elon Musk declared that his name was X Æ A-12 Musk. The letter Æ is known as "ash" when used in Old English. She usually refers to him as "Little X."
    • She calls her daughter, officially named Exa Dark Sidereal, "Y."
  • One-Woman Song: "Vanessa" and "Rosa."
  • Queer Romance: "Before the Fever," if we assume the narrator is female.
    Dance with me 'til the end of the night
    Be my girl
  • Remix Album: Miss Anthropocene (Rave Edition), an album of hardcore techno remixes with contributions from Richie Hawtin and Rezz.
  • Renaissance Woman: Engineers, produces, writes, and performs her own music, directs her own videos, illustrates her own album covers.
  • Sampling: Grimes engineers and produces most of her own work, but has used several samples over the years.
    • "Avi" samples "Peppermint Pig" by Cocteau Twins.
    • "World ♡ Princess" samples "Just Like Honey" by The Jesus and Mary Chain.
    • "Swan Song" samples "Blonde Redhead" by DNA.
    • "rasik" samples "Rasik Balma Se Dil Kyon Lagaya" by Lata Mangeshkar, from the Bollywood musical Chori Chori.
    • "Butterfly" samples "Penguin Dancer" by Masayoshi Takanaka.
    • "4AEM" samples "Deewani Mastani" by Shreya Gostal and Sanjay Leela Bhansali, from the Bollywood musical Bajirao Mastani.
  • Self-Backing Vocalist: Pretty much all of the backing vocals are just layers of her own vocals.
  • Self-Empowerment Anthem: "World Princess part II."
  • Sequel Song: "World Princess part II." While the first World Princess was gloomy and sorrowful, "Part II" is bright, cheerful, and confident.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Geidi Primes is Concept Album based on Dune. Majority of the song's titles are names of locations and characters from the novel.
    • Halfaxa is a more Grimes-y interpretation of the name Halifax, a city in Canada.
    • "Dragvandil" is named after a sword from Final Fantasy.
    • Quotes from Russian poet Anna Akhmatova appear on the Visions album cover.
    • The title of "Nightmusic" is a reference to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
    • The "Kill V. Maim" music video contains references to Law & Order and Dark Souls.
    • "Bullet With Butterfly Wings" by The Smashing Pumpkins gets name-dropped on "My Name is Dark."
    • In the "Delete Forever" music video, she sits on the broken white throne from AKIRA.
    • "IDORU" is named after a sci-fi novel by William Gibson.
    • The "IDORU" music video features clips from Adolescence of Utena, and someone in NieR: Automata cosplay.
    • The unofficial lyric video for "My Name Is Dark" also uses unauthorized clips from Neon Genesis Evangelion, which caused the video to be censored and unlisted on Youtube.
    • "Player of Games" is also named after a sci-fi novel, The Player of Games by Iain Banks.
    • "Shinigami Eyes" is about Death Note.
  • Silly Love Song: She describes "IDORU" as this.
  • Slasher Smile: Gives one of these in the "Flesh Without Blood/Life in the Vivid Dream" music video, covered in blood and brandishing a knife.
  • Speaking Simlish: Her early records, especially Geidi Primes and Halfaxa feature her singing in alien-sounding gibberish.
  • Speech Impediment: She has a quite notitheable lithp; she stated that she "likes it", and has no desire to correct it.
  • Spelling Song: "B-E-H-A-V-E, arrest us!"
  • Suicide by Sea: Mentioned in "You'll Miss Me When I'm Not Around", which corresponds to the "Demon of Suicide" in the concept of Miss Anthropocene.
    If they could see me now, smiling six feet underground
    I'll tie my feet to rocks and drown
    You'll miss me when I'm not around
  • Surreal Music Video: "Vanessa" probably wins for the most surreal video, with kaleidoscope effects and girls smearing makeup all over their faces.
  • Sword Fight: The concept of the "Player of Games" music video. Features her fighting with a Laser Blade.
  • Take That, Audience!: During a pool party at Richie Hawtin's house in Ibiza for an online show, in front of several major DJs who meant Serious Business, she did something different and trolled everyone by playing a set full of cheesy pop music; primarily Taylor Swift, Mariah Carey (specifically "All I Want for Christmas is You"), and the Vengaboys. Off an iPod. Predictably, people were angry.
  • Take That, Critics!: "California", from Art Angels is a diss track to Pitchfork.
  • Techno: Her most recent output and upcoming album takes heavy inspiration from techno, EDM, and dance.
    • Her recent live DJ sets incorporate hardcore techno with well-known pop songs.
  • Textless Album Cover: The standard covers for Geidi Primes, Halfaxa, Darkbloom, and the alternate covers for Miss Anthropocene feature no text.
  • Third-Person Person: She sometimes refers to "Grimes" as if she were a different person entirely, or just her stage persona.
  • Troll: She describes herself as being one since she was young. This tends to get her in trouble with the media, such as when she lied about getting an "experimental eye surgery" or walking around reading The Communist Manifesto shortly after her breakup with Elon Musk went public.
  • Villain Song: "Kill V. Maim", which is written in the perspective of Michael Corleone.
  • Vocal Dissonance: Sings in a very high-pitched soprano, but speaks in a more grounded alto.
  • Voodoo Doll: Uses one in the "Flesh Without Blood" music video.
  • We Used to Be Friends: "Pin."
    • She has also said this is what inspired "Flesh Without Blood", though the lyrics are more like a Break-Up Song.
  • Wings Do Nothing: She uses imagery of winged creatures and angels a lot in her visual art and costumes, such as the "Flesh without Blood" music video and "You'll miss me when I'm not around" green screen footage.
    • Illustrations of the titular Miss Anthropocene feature her with Razor Wings.
  • Word Salad Lyrics: Several of her older songs are this. She's said that early on in her career, she fundamentally did not understand that songs had lyrics and assumed all songs were just "saying bullshit," although this has changed on recent releases.
  • Yandere: On "Pretty Dark."

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