Grimes surprised fans Wednesday when she released seven new music videos with collaborator, artist and backup dancer HANA. The videos are filmed by Grimes’ brother, Mac Boucher, whose artful photography has been showcased in nearly all of Grimes iconic videos, including “Kill v. Maim,” “Genesis” and “Flesh Without Blood/ Life in the Vivid Dream.”
The collaboration features videos for Grimes songs “Butterfly,” ”World Princess Part II,” ”Scream”, “Belly of the Beat” and “Easily” and HANA’s songs “Underwater,” “Chimera” and “Avalanche” filmed on stops during two weeks of Grimes’ European tour. Polished filmography (considering that Grimes’ Instagram announcement stated the videos were a product of “just us and a phone”) combines with music from “Art Angels” and HANA’s self-titled EP.
Admittedly, I was skeptical of the Instagram account, @Trashique2 when it emerged months ago. Who is this? Grimes? And who else? Should I follow them? And I did. Their antics are hilarious and carefree on social media, but these videos prove that Grimes’ and HANA take their art seriously. At this point, I really want them to stay friends and keep making things.
The full video, at 38 minutes long, plays the songs in their intended order and begins with “Butterfly,” filmed near beautiful ruins, parks and landmarks.
At first watch, HANA’s first song was unexpected yet enjoyable. While HANA’s moody atmospheric sound juxtaposes Grimes’ upbeat pop, the videos seem to fuse the two styles together in a way that flows relatively well.
“World Princess Part II,” fittingly, is filmed at a castle. This is where, in watching the full video, I noticed how the outfits in every scene seem to be reflective of each place and song — thin pink petticoats in an empty castle, long-sleeve polos and umbrellas in what looks like London, and flowing, Roman-esque white dresses in the midst of Italy’s famous architecture. Of course, this wouldn’t be without the ever-changing and always captivating hair of one Miss Claire Boucher.
When Hana’s song “Chimera” starts, the next thing one notices after her croons and contemporary dance moves is her hair. In almost every video, hair becomes its own character. Whether that’s because it’s given an ethereal life of its own in production or because HANA’s shiny, flowing aubergine locks (and Grimes’ evolving mane) are beautifully distracting in each video.
“Scream” is certainly one of the most energetic videos, with an appearance from Taiwanese rapper Aristophanes. This is where show footage comes into play, reflecting the frenetic energy of the song. Lyrics to the rap appear at the bottom of the video, which kind of awesome because I never thought to look up those lyrics. In short, they are pretty damn weird.
HANA’s “Avalanche” made one of the most compelling videos, followed by Grimes ‘’Belly of the Beat,” with beautiful scenery inside what is either a theatre or church. Outside, dancers are shown in front of a beautiful mountain range. Grimes two backup dancers, HANA and Alyson Van, appear regularly in the videos, dancing, as Grimes would say “like angels do.” In the last two, another dancer appears, creating an unexpected dynamic.
The videos conclude with “Easily,” and I am left in awe and respect for Grimes’ and HANA’s work and vision. These videos give small peeks behind the scenes — in a jet or backstage — and also include show footage. If anything, we now have seven more reasons to amaze ourselves with the creative work of Grimes, Mac Boucher and now HANA.