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House Playlist: Grimes, Labyrinth Ear, & Napolian

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<em>House</em> Playlist: Grimes, Labyrinth Ear, & Napolian

Grimes, “Genesis.” Claire Boucher’s work as Grimes has always played like an exercise in arty distraction. Just when you think you’re going to get a beautiful electro-pop song (see “Swan Song” and “Crystal Ball”), she dives headlong into loop-fueled flightiness. On “Genesis,” the second single from her upcoming album, Visions, Boucher defies expectations in the opposite direction, sticking to the lilting climb of the track’s opening bassline and building on, rather than abandoning, its octave-skipping melody. There are points when “Genesis” sounds like Enya backed up by CANT, but it’s one of Grimes’s most fully realized songs—catchy without having to jettison its intricate details, percussive while melodic, and wonderfully weird. Kevin Liedel

Labyrinth Ear, “Humble Bones.” Suggesting industrial landscapes underlit with deep red gels and dolled up with incandescent bamboo wind chimes, Labyrinth Ear’s “Humble Bones” is a lot more emotionally available than Emily Jacobs’s echoing, distracted vocals would suggest. Deciphering her syllables takes more effort than cleaning out a nuclear reactor, but if you concentrate, you’ll find you’re being courted, sorta: “We dissolve now,” “The sky is blue, I can taste the colors,” “You humble my bones,” etc. To someone who considers love less preferable to manual labor, this song makes some sense. Eric Henderson

Napolian, “My Refuge.” “Retro” is the sound that was current in the past but has since become outmoded, or a current sound trying to hearken back to the past. “Dated” is the sound of the past conjecturing what current might sound like in the future. “My Refuge” is the sound of Napolian (a.k.a. Ian Evans) having his retro cake and backdating it too. Opening with some plaintive, retro Yamaha DX7 noodling that quickly launches into thudding, heavy prog-pop, Napolian’s two-pronged Remembrance of Things Past/Future is a little bit like switching back and forth between the opening credits of Doogie Howser, M.D. and any random scene of Warrior of the Lost World. EH

House Playlist is a series dedicated to highlighting our favorite new singles, leaked songs, and album tracks.