Grimes 'Art Angels', Ellie Goulding 'Delirium' Now Streaming on Spotify

The artists drop new stuff that is pretty darn worthy.

Friday started off at 12 a.m. with new albums from Grimes and Ellie Goulding, available on Spotify, and a late-night listening session with the releases proved worthy.

If Grimes is already your girl, you won’t be disappointed, but possibly a bit surprised with her Art Angels work, as it’s a more mature direction for the Canadian creepy-pop performer. Moving away from her older haunted waif sound, she now exploits her actual voice and juices up the beats with a more layered collection of e-music, as compared to some of her earlier work that tends to recall the proto-electro-dance established by Giorgio Moroder decades ago.

However, her signature quirkiness still lives, most evidently on the first album cut “laughing and not being normal,” which wavers in direction between a Danny Elfman soundtrack composition and alt-noise experimentalism.

“California,” on the other hand, is a happy jam with a beat that almost sounds ready for line dancing, and “Kill V. Maim,” a peppy, new wave-ish number, seems more like a Gwen Stefani pop song than the typical outside-the-mainstream Grimes effort.

Extra attention should be given to the eponymous “Artangles,” a rich song with a wall of sound that goes high, low, bouncy, and spacious, while the closest thing to a dud might be “Easily,” a somewhat plain offering that has a theatrical theme, making the track seem akin to something rejected by the 2014 Annie movie soundtrack.

Ellie Goulding, much more straightforward in her pop than Grimes, has always delivered a style and substance that – if matched with something more hip-hopped – could potentially make her the Nelly Furtado of the 2010s, but instead she has stuck to her formula of electronic-powered, occasionally Enya-like music.

At the top of Friday she dropped Delirium, in which she puffs up a bit more, sounding tougher than usual, especially on her track “Aftertaste,” singing with gusto about losing a love she’ll never forget while working over pop radio-friendly beats.

There are no major misfires on this album, but to be nitpicky, the song “Keep On Dancin’” politely goes nowhere — and “Don’t Need Nobody” falls flat at times throughout its duration.

A tune to relish is “Around U,” which uses a low buzz-growl under tinny electro-snare pops in a way that gives the song undeniable oomph — and “Don’t Panic” is just plain catchy and fun, not even trying to hide the clear inspiration it borrows from M83’s indie neo-classic “Midnight City.”

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