With over 15 years of experience in the music industry, Grimes has released 5 studio albums and won a Juno award. Let’s take a look at the 20 best Grimes songs to come out of her discography.
Eclectic indie artist Grimes has made a name for herself as one of the most innovative musicians of her generation. Today, she’s also a fairly controversial artist. While many people are interested in discussing and dissecting her personal life, it’s far much more important to focus on what made her famous – her music!
- 1. “Oblivion” by Grimes
- 2. “Scream (Feat. Aristophanes)” by Grimes
- 3. “Genesis” by Grimes
- 4. “Kill V. Maim” by Grimes
- 5. “Rosa” by Grimes
- 6. “REALiTi” by Grimes
- 7. “Weregild” by Grimes
- 8. “Violence” by Grimes
- 9. “Skin” by Grimes
- 10. “Delete Forever” by Grimes
- 11. “4ÆM” by Grimes
- 12. “Infinite Love Without Fulfillment” by Grimes
- 13. “You’ll miss me when I’m not around” by Grimes
- 14. “Night Music (Feat. Majical Cloudz)” by Grimes
- 15. “My Name Is Dark” by Grimes
- 16. “Be A Body (侘寂)” by Grimes
- 17. “World Princess Part II” by Grimes
- 18. “California” by Grimes
- 19. “Flesh Without Blood” by Grimes
- 20. “Eight” by Grimes
- Final Words
1. “Oblivion” by Grimes
“Oblivion” makes an unforgettable impression, standing out as a stellar number from Grimes’ 2012 record, “Visions”. This enchanting electronic jam merges her hypnotic vocals with the bewitching rhythm of modular synths.
This track strikes the right balance between indie-pop and experimental soundscapes, creating a melodic earworm that’s pretty hard to shake off. It’s a standout example of Grimes’ uncanny ability to make niche sounds mainstream and edgy at the same time.
2. “Scream (Feat. Aristophanes)” by Grimes
“Scream” is a rare gem in Grimes’ collection as it marks one of her sole collaborations. In partnership with Taiwanese rapper Aristophanes, this track offers an unusual blend of Mandarin rap and Grimes’ signature industrial undertones.
This one-of-a-kind collab between Grimes and Aristophanes keeps cropping up, even in Miss Anthropocene. It delivers a catchy, slightly eerie vibe that underscores Grimes’ eclectic musical preferences.
3. “Genesis” by Grimes
“Genesis” sets the tone as the opening track on Grimes’ 2012 album, Vision. It begins with a tranquil, ethereal sound, not exactly what you’d call mainstream.
The song’s initial ambient strumming swiftly evolves into a pop beat, thanks to the riveting bass synths. Despite its catchy essence, “Genesis” remains an experimental marvel.
4. “Kill V. Maim” by Grimes
Straight from the 2015 release, Art Angels, “Kill V. Maim” emerged when Grimes was already a major player on the music scene. It’s no surprise that it’s her favorite track from the album.
“Kill V. Maim” is an electrifying dance track that masquerades as a catchy pop tune. Its edgy vibe quickly turned it into a trendy anthem for the hipster crowd in 2015.
5. “Rosa” by Grimes
First released in 2010, “Rosa” is one of the oldest Grimes songs and also one of the very best. There’s nothing poppy about this track, which sounds more like classic indie than anything else.
It’s also not nearly as electronic as a lot of Grimes’ later works. However, it’s easy to see that the elements that made the singer famous were already there: angelic vocals, great lyrics, and an uncanny ability to create a totally unique atmosphere in each track.
6. “REALiTi” by Grimes
Taken from Grimes’ 2020 album Miss Anthropocene, “Reality” offers a familiar mix of dream pop and experimental electronica. There’s a lot of classic Grimes in there: high-pitched vocals, multi-layered choruses, and unique electronic sounds. In this song, Grimes explores very topical themes of virtual reality and artificial intelligence.
7. “Weregild” by Grimes
“Weregild” was first released on Grimes’ second solo album, Halfaxa. It’s a beautiful, dreamy track that’s as “Grimes” as anything she’s ever released.
With glitchy, videogame sounds and her ethereal vocals, it’s a track that’s quite a bit darker than what we’re used to hearing from her. A fun fact about this song is that you can hear Grimes’ cat Voignamir meowing in the song’s intro.
8. “Violence” by Grimes
“Violence” is Grimes’ anthem about the damaging effects of violence on our world. Off her 2020 album, Miss Anthropocene, this track is like a musical snapshot of how we’re interacting with our environments. Though it’s loaded with political undertones, the song wraps you up in its groovy beats, electronic vibes, and Grimes’ signature sky-high vocals.
9. “Skin” by Grimes
“Skin” is a chill track from Grimes’ 2015 album Visions, chillin’ right before the album wraps up. This song is like the calm cousin in Grimes’ musical family. You might even find yourself saying “this is relaxing,” thanks to the dreamy aura created by the heavily reverbed vocals.
Bucking the traditional verse-chorus setup, “Skin” is all about exploring eclectic sounds and crafting a tranquil sonic landscape. It’s like a peaceful retreat in her discography.
10. “Delete Forever” by Grimes
“Delete Forever” springs from Grimes’ latest album, Miss Anthropocene. It’s got Grimes’ distinct vocal style but it also shakes things up a bit. For instance, it welcomes you with a guitar and even throws a banjo into the mix.
Although Grimes hasn’t tossed aside her love for quirky electronic beats and synth sounds, this track feels more “classic” and less experimental than many of her others. As for the songwriting, it’s top-tier Grimes all the way.
11. “4ÆM” by Grimes
Another track from Miss Anthropocene, “4ÆM” is steeped in cyberpunk vibes. The connection is so strong that it was chosen as a soundtrack for the announcement of the video game Cyberpunk 2077 at the Games Awards in 2019.
The otherworldly electronic bits of the track certainly amp up the sci-fi feel. It’s less pop, more experimental, proving that Grimes is keeping it real even after scoring major success.
12. “Infinite Love Without Fulfillment” by Grimes
Grimes’ 2015 album “Visions” is a total gold mine – it’s like a treasure chest full of bops that all deserve your attention. One of the standout tracks is “Infinite Love Without Fulfillment.”
This earworm of a song will keep you humming its catchy chorus (“I will wait for you”) and subtly immerses you in themes of longing and dedication. Despite its pop sound, it doesn’t stray far from Grimes’ unique experimental flair.
13. “You’ll miss me when I’m not around” by Grimes
“Miss Anthropocene” hosts another masterpiece, “You’ll Miss Me When I’m Not Around”. This track hits right in the feels, dealing with themes of heartbreak and endurance.
It perfectly balances a radio-ready melody with Grimes’ signature experimental twist. The music video for the song, featuring a pregnant Grimes with a sword and an eye-catching Asian-inspired gown, aligns with the overall virtual reality vibe of the album.
14. “Night Music (Feat. Majical Cloudz)” by Grimes
“Night Music” was co-written and produced by Majical Cloudz, a Canadian musical duo known for their artsy pop sound. It was released as part of Grimes’ “Visions” album and is certainly one of the most interesting tracks of the whole project. Danceable and unique, the song is dreamy and one of the reasons why Visions is such a great album.
15. “My Name Is Dark” by Grimes
“My Name Is Dark” is a track that’s equal parts mysterious and engaging. This future-forward pop song features some intriguing background screams, hinting at the song’s darker themes.
The vocals are layered in a way that’s both enticing and, at times, pretty intense. Grimes referring to herself as “the girl who played with fire” might be a nod to her fascination with tech and sci-fi.
16. “Be A Body (侘寂)” by Grimes
Found on 2015’s Visions, “Be A Body” is a profoundly atmospheric track that draws from experimental electronic music and dream pop. Grimes’ extremely high-pitched voice on the chorus of the track contrasts with a much darker, smoky verse.
Throughout, the song seems to move between poppy electronic synths and gliding scales of ambient fuzz. It’s one of her catchiest “experimental” songs and certainly one of the best Grimes songs out there.
17. “World Princess Part II” by Grimes
“World Princess Part II” is a beautiful song, allegedly influenced by a best friend who passed away. It was released on Grimes’ fourth album, Art Angels, and has the same optimistic bubble gum sound as a lot of the songs on that record.
In the music video, Grimes is a liberated, playful princess who dances around a castle. Grimes may have meant the song as a kind of female self-empowerment anthem—and it’s certainly catchy enough to be one, even a few years down the line.
18. “California” by Grimes
Taken from her fourth album Art Angels, “California” is one of the most memorable songs in the singer’s entire discography. Mixing high-pitched vocals with almost child-like, plastic-sounding synthesizers, it’s a happy, carefree song.
The chorus of Grimes singing “California” over and over in a sugary sweet voice is an ode to American culture through and through—maybe even more meaningful considering the singer hails from Montreal, Canada.
19. “Flesh Without Blood” by Grimes
Taken from her 2015 studio album Art Angels, Flesh Without Blood is a bubblegum pop track that lets Boucher’s beautiful vocal ability shine through. In a way, it’s closer to a traditional pop song than many of her earlier works.
It may be due to the fact it came out just as studios were starting to see her potential and invest more into her. But despite its “poppiness,” the track still involves some very avant-garde electronic sounds that help it stand out from the crowd.
20. “Eight” by Grimes
“Eight” is out there on the list of the weirdest and best Grimes songs out there. A very short (just over a minute and a half) track, it has no clear structure, seeming to play with sound in a very free way. Grimes’ sweet voice is distorted, pitched extremely high, and vocoded past the point of recognition.
Alongside, the track incorporates a looming, doomy bassline and some industrial elements that clash with what we’ve grown to expect from Claire Boucher’s work. It’s a piece of experimental music that’s hard to imagine any other popular singers today putting out.
Creating a list of the best Grimes songs is hard, not least because the singer has such a long and fascinating discography. From experimental to a more pop sound and back to futuristic experimental music, Grimes has stayed true to herself during her whole career.
She’s one of the most culturally relevant artists making music today, she’ll be remembered as an emblematic singer of the mid-2010s, and we’re sure we haven’t heard the last from her yet.
Featured Image Credit : By Jordan Uhl – Flickr, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=65959893