Since releasing her fourth album, Art Angels, last year to unanimous adoration, Grimes has been mostly out of the news. Aside from a still-unexplained incident involving her walking off the stage during a set at Barclays Center last month and her appearance in a television commercial advertising a fragrance sold by Paul McCartney’s daughter, the artist born as Claire Boucher seems content to let her music speak for her while staying out of the headlines.
Last night, though, the synth-pop musician switched things up, curating a collection of other people’s music for British radio. Broadcast on BBC Radio 3, Late Junction is a 13-track, 30-minute mixtape featuring a geographically diverse array of artists: Grimes’s fellow Canadians are well-represented, but there’re cuts from Aphex Twin, Indian movie soundtracks, and Japan’s Shonen Knife as well; even among the smattering of indie artists from the States there’s a high proportion of hyphenated Americans — Kelsey Lu, Kali Uchis, Tei Shi, the Internet. Meticulously calibrated, mellow yet assertive, the mixtape testifies to the global scale of Grimes’s influences, curiosity, and great taste.