Grimes - Art Angels - LP
Grimes holds a liquid mirror to the gurning fizzog of pop music with 'Art Angels', her 2nd album for 4AD. Entirely written, composed and produced by the mercurial Canadian, it's one of the most canny, addictive pop records you'll hear this year.
It's been a hot minute since she presented her 'Visions' LP in 2012, in which time she's become a bona fide, mondo-pop starlet, parring Richie Hawtin at his own house parties and rightfully claiming her space as one of the most compelling pop artistes of her time.
Ostensibly, 'Art Angels' is full of top 10-sounding bangers, sing-a-longs and glitter-bombs but, pay a little closer attention, and you'll find each song is nuanced with myriad kinks, perfectly off-key twysts and wickedly playful juxtapositions.
Previous single, 'Flesh without Blood' epitomises that effect with glossolalic gibber and delirious arrangement, whilst the title track 'Artangels' feels like TayTay on mushies, and 'Realiti' comes off like something you'd hear pumping out of a bangle shop in the Arndale, but mixed with a lush, dreamy quality that it's fair to say you may not get from a male producer - and is all the better for it.
Stir in a ratchet club killer called 'Venus Fly' with Janelle Monae, and the hy-life-meets-electro-pop bump of 'Butterfly' and you've got one of the sweetest treats of 2015.