So the title of this article may be a misnomer... All of these artists do often collaborate with other musicians/have bands they play with, and, you know what, War is actually a 'duo,' but that's all semantics. After hearing these three new artists, I don't think you'll particularly care.
Grimes is the moniker of Montreal-based musician Claire Boucher. A mix of synth-heavy electro pop and dance music, Boucher is gaining a huge following around the world. Her latest album, Visions, was well received by critics, not surprising once you give it a listen. Grimes' sugary sweet vocals alternate between outerspace and somewhere deep inside the weirdest, darkest club you can think of. Add that to awesome analog/dance/industrial beats and synths with enough effects to make your head spin, Grimes delivers on all fronts. Here's Grimes on Grimes: "I approach music --and this sounds crazy-- as though I'm Phil Spector, and I'm cranking out these pop stars and forcing them to do all this crazy stuff --except they're all me." (source) That's a cool way of putting it and shows Boucher's allegiance to both the founding tenets of pop music and her own individual weirdness.
Disclaimer: War is comprised of DUO Elias Bender Rønnenfelt, frontman of awesome Danish punk act Iceage, and Loke Rahbek of Sexdrome. But you know, who really cares about labels, am I right? These two have brought their unforgiving punk aesthetic to electronic music, creating dense, low fidelity analog tracks that sound like they've been played on a tape deck one (or a thousand) times too many. This creates a kind of perverse and detached sound, with distortion swirling about every swell and oscillation. Coupled with singer Ronnenfelts characteristic monotone, War presents a kind of electro-punk symphony, full of angst and rebellion. While they have no album out yet, they have released two tracks on 7's, one of which is linked below. This may not be for everyone, but if you're a fan of the weirder side of dance music, punk or some weird lovechild between the two, War may just be exactly what you need right now.
Sharon Van Etten