This Week’s New Music: Genre-Bending Gems

Pop music darling Claire Boucher, a.k.a. Grimes, is sounding the alarms. Her new genre-bending album “Miss Anthropocene” is ominous and mystical. The release takes listeners on an otherworldly adventure foreshadowing […]
Grimes Miss Anthropocene

by | Mar 10, 2020 | New Music

Pop music darling Claire Boucher, a.k.a. Grimes, is sounding the alarms. Her new genre-bending album “Miss Anthropocene” is ominous and mystical. The release takes listeners on an otherworldly adventure foreshadowing the end of humanity with futuristic drum loops and rave nostalgia. Indeed, it sounds like the end of the world. Grimes refers to the sound as “ethereal nu metal.” The sound matches the subject matter. She tackles climate change, the patriarchy and the toxicity of celebrity culture. “Miss Anthropocene” is a portmanteau, blending together Anthropocene, our current geological age on which humans have had the greatest impact, with misanthropy. 

Grimes has been outspoken about climate change and humanity’s role in the earth’s destruction. She uses the album to compel listeners to reckon with this.

A new album is not the only big announcement from Grimes. She also recently confirmed that she and Elon Musk are having a baby. In an interview with Cultured, she discussed losing her autonomy in favor of  her relationship. “It’s sad how love can be this beautiful thing, but then love is the thing that’s fucking up my career,” she said. “The biggest change for me this year is losing my hardcore masculinity. I used to just be free—free of all this bullshit that it seemed like all the other girls were going through, and now I feel like I’m not.” 

Her song “So Heavy I Fell Through The Earth ” pays homage to her love for Musk despite everything. With a minimal lyrics, Grimes shows the repercussions of loving intensely. 

After Grimes, allow Shopping to lighten your mood. Think groovy, light-hearted beats. Formed in 2012 as part of a young, queer, East London scene, Shopping’s music isn’t easily defined by genre. The group emerged from Power Lurches, a basement venue central to the scene at that time. Shopping, best described as a disco-punk trio, released “All Or Nothing” earlier this month. The album is a testament to the trio’s evolution as a band and as individuals.

Written in a 10-day period, “All or Nothing” encapsulates the group’s dilemmas as a rising post-punk band. Shopping’s talent in appeasing the masses while still appealing to their original fan base in the periphery is ever present. The band balances pop-friendly sounds with sardonic undertones. In doing so, Shopping doesn’t sacrifice originality. It seems effortless and natural for the group to morph into the mainstream. They have never been as confrontational as other post-punk bands.

In delicate tones that contrast Grimes and Shopping, Ala.ni pushes limits with her sophomore album “ACCA.” On the opening track, Paris-based Ala.ni sings, “Everyone does their thing a little bit differently.” 

Holding true to her word, Ala.ni’s recent release  incorporates sounds sampled from beer bottles and tennis balls, and follows the trend of genre-defying music by blending together elements of heartbroken ballads, doo-wop, and West Indian dancehall. The album is also theatrical. Ala.ni’s voice is seductive and sensual, slowly captivating listeners. Old fashioned cabaret sound ties the versatile songs together.

Ala.ni’s melodramatic tendencies stem from both her great uncle, who was a Grenada-born cabaret star, and her past relationships. What’s also notable about this album: Ala.ni wrote and produced every song, each comprised of multiple layers of vocal tracks.

On the singles front, KHOL’s featured artists include Jai’Len Josey, a multi-talented 21-year- old R&B/soul singer from Atlanta, Japan’s Jaguar Jonze, an enigmatic artist with smoky vocals, and Sa-Roc, an empowering female emcee from Washington D.C.

Check KHOL’s new music playlist 👇 and stay tuned for next week’s. 

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