The first thing I noticed about “Oblivion,” the new single from Montreal-based avant-pop artist Grimes, is how much focus Claire Boucher puts on her vocals. On Geidi Primes, and much of her Darkbloom EP, Boucher's falsetto often served the role of an ambient affectation more than the driving force behind a track. The exception was the mind-bogglingly fantastic, “Vanessa,” where an ever-evolving vocal hook became the hypnotic centerpiece of the song. “Oblivion” sees Grimes taking her pop inclinations further in same direction, with even less atmospheric obfuscation than “Vanessa.”
“Oblivion” is constructed around a bloopy synth that gives Boucher’s voice room to bubble and float over everything else. It reminds me of Cyndi Lauper singing over a Mark Mothersbaugh track; on my first listen I may or may not have started doing an embarrassingly goofy bobble-head dance, spontaneously. It’s gleefully weird, experimental pop music, and hopefully just a small taste of what’s to come when Grimes releases her next record, Visions, in January.