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Grimes starves herself for inspiration

Canadian singer Grimes took a rather extreme approach to get in the mood to record her acclaimed album Visions. Going without sleep, food and company for three weeks, she began to experience a hallucinatory dream-state that inspired the music.

Grimes, real name Claire Boucher, finds the arduous, seemingly self-destructive process invigorating. "Once you hit day nine, you start accessing some really crazy sh**," she told The Guardian. "You have no stimulation, so your subconscious starts filling in the blanks. I started to feel like I was channelling spirits. I was convinced my music was a gift from God. It was like I knew exactly what to do next, as if my songs were already written."

Grimes is part of an eclectic and creative Montreal scene that developed in the wake of the success of Arcade Fire. Visions is her third album, and its ghostly, ethereal qualities were inspired by personal experiences.

"Visions was an extremely cathartic album to make," she said. "I went through a period a few years back when I was really addicted to drugs. Two of my best friends died, I had this really f***ed-up assault experience and I was constantly in and out of terrible relationships. I never really dealt with all that, but I eventually realised that by making songs I could work through these things that had been plaguing me for years."

Visions is released on the 4AD label, and it has more than a few echoes of that label’s classic back catalogue such as Cocteau Twins and Dead Can Dance. The worry is that, for a follow-up, Grimes may have to subject herself to even more extreme punishment than solitary confinement.

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