The name caught my eye first. LEANN GRIMES. Sandwiched somewhere in the middle of a list of other, less remarkable names in a long list of remixes and new stuff on a music blog whose name escapes me now.
“What the hell,” I thought. “Let’s give this a shot.”
Leann Grimes – Got to Grime
I hit Play on Got to Grime expecting to be menaced by some sort of dark, bass-heavy growler which would start using its vibrations to shove things around my desk in an ominous and not-quite-dancefloor-friendly sort of way. Instead, I got headsmacked by a vibrant, damn near summery slice of evocative-in-that-sort-of way-that-you-can’t-directly-put-your-finger-on musical magic that pretty much defined “bouncy” in new and wonderful ways, ways that would never again see the word relegated to such petty uses as describing post-conditioner hair or school bus rides.
And I hit Play again. And then again. And then I went looking for more.
You don’t often find an album this celebratory and unabashedly cheerful without the artists involved inserting some sort of ironic distance or “statement” into the mix in order to maintain their “serious muso” cred. None of that bullshit here. Leann Grimes hugs music with both hands, recycling riffs and hooks from a collection of indie artists (The Strokes, Miniature Tigers, Deerhunter, CAKE, Local Natives, Kings of Convenience) into a recursive statement of love: I make music because you make music. (Or as he states on his Bandcamp page: “If it’s a new indie track, I’m going to remix it.”)
Leann Grimes – Memory Noise
His whole album is pure joy. I defy you to find another album out there as good-natured as this one is. It’s impossible to listen to without smiling (at least internally). The love that he has for his subject matter (that is: music) shines through on every track. And as much as I love the darker side of music and surround myself with droning, buzzing, angry musical things, I can’t relegate this into “bubblegum” territory because of the obvious (and I’m using that word AGAIN) love that went into this project.
And then there’s this: Grimes dedicates the album to both the musicians (show of hands? that’s quite a few people) and (AND!) the music bloggers (Another show of hands? Yeah, that’s pretty much everybody else in the room.) who connected him with these artists. You can’t help but feel included. Leann Grimes is the universal power of music in 14 tracks.
Leann Grimes – I Do Work for You (Non-album Soundcloud cut)
If, for some impossible reason, this album fails to connect with you, then head over to his constantly updated Soundcloud page. If you can’t find something to like, then I honestly fear for your soul.