Claire Elise Boucher—a.k.a. Grimes—has always been transparent in her restlessness. Her 2012 breakout album, Visions, was sonically gauzy and thematically thorny, exploring issues of identity, sexuality, and empowerment over smeared, floating electro. It drifted through your headscape like an autumnal fog, but her lyrics—once you understood them, at least—were piercing in their honesty and vulnerability. She painted her follow-up, 2015’s Art Angels, in the bold neon hues of modern electro-pop, echoing her own confidence on entering an increasingly elevated stage. But, still, there was a negotiation taking place—a messy but honest/beautiful evolution of aesthetics and personality —that felt universal.
It makes sense that her Spotify mix, the faé list, feels both all over the place and a cohesive product of her roaming gaze. Artisophanes conjures a metallic slab of transhumanist pop on the aptly titled “Humans Becomes Machines,” and Grouper’s “I’m Clean Now” is all somatic romanticism. The playlist’s lead-off track, Yukari’s “Am I Dreaming,” floats by in a haze of gentle synth sounds, feeling like the theme song to a narco-fueled Japanese remake of Twin Peaks. But, elsewhere, Claire rocks out with Cardi B and Lil Uzi Vert. She even includes Taylor Swift’s “Look What You Made Me Do,” because why not?
Ultimately, like the best playlists, it feels like both a cultural and personal artifact, a flickering glimpse into one of our generation’s most mercurial and talented artists, and an apt reflection of where we all are in this weird, fucked-up, awesome, shitty world.