Miss Anthropocene, the new album from Canadian indie-pop darling, Grimes, has arrived.
The record comes nearly five years after the artist’s last LP, Art Angels. Since then, Grimes has dismissed her massively acclaimed LP as a “piece of crap” and “a stain” on her life. Likewise, Grimes (Claire Boucher) has changed her name to “c.”, gone public with her relationship (and coming lovechild) with boyfriend, tech-guru Elon Musk, and tried to make vagina pants a thing with Janelle Monae.
Due to disputes with her “piece of shit” label, it took nearly five years for the follow-up record to arrive. On February 21st, the singer, producer, and engineer’s goth-glam, dystopian record Miss Anthropocene has finally hit the airwaves. [Featured image: @grimes]
The record drops after the release of a number of singles, including her nu-metal, AI-inspired powerhouse track: “We Appreciate Power”; followed by “4 AM” — her cyberpunk interpretation of Bollywood film, Bajirao Mastani; along with “Violence” — an abusive long ballad personifying humans’ relationship with the earth; and, most recently, her deceptively upbeat “Delete Forever”.
On Miss Anthropocene, Grimes finds herself in familiar yet altogether new territory. Throughout her career, the artist has never shied away from high — admittedly, a little out-there — concepts. Recall her Art Angels banger, “Kill v. Maim” — a song about a gender-bending vampire Godfather gangster who travels through space.
According to an Instagram post the artist made a while back, Miss Anthropocene is “the anthropomorphic Goddess of climate Change: A psychedelic, space-dwelling demon/beauty-Queen who relishes the end of the world. She’s composed of Ivory and Oil” — straightforward enough?
As wayward a concept as it might sound, Grimes delivers on it with a haunting, yet glitzy doom-pop ode to the warping physical and digital landscape of our world.
Miss Anthropocene consists of 10 tracks just short of 45 minutes. The label also released a deluxe version, which features 15 songs. Included on this version are four remixed tracks and the aforementioned “We Appreciate Power” single, which doesn’t appear on the normal version.
The record opens up with “So Heavy I Fell Through the Earth”. Structurally, the track appears to be a reworking of “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” by The Beatles. Sonically, the dismal, haunting atmosphere calls back to Visions-era Grimes.
Grimes goes even heavier on the track “My Name is Dark”. In this song Grimes conveys a sort of hedonistic nihilism: “we party when the sun goes low // Imminent annihilation sounds so dope”. The song features a floating guitar riff over a heavy, “grimy” baseline. The ripping, possessed chorus “I’m not going to sleep anymore / That’s what the drugs are for” is swallowed in an eerie industrial swell, as if the narrator has fallen into dark abysmal hole in the universe.
Post-apocalyptic, desolate techno-god-dictated world it may be, Grimes seems to offer a glimmer of hope in “IDORU” — the album’s final track. The song opens with a recording of Grimes harmonizing to bird calls. Produced through a mellotron, the song rises with sweet lyrics and warm vocals: “I wanna play a beautiful game // Even though we’re gonna lose” as if to embrace the world’s destruction hand-in-hand with a loved one.
Once again, the song is deceptive. “Idoru” is in fact the Japanese word for an industry-made pop-idol. This leads one to think: is this love and adoration Grimes experiences for her partner authentic, or is it just something manufactured in the face of impending doom, or otherwise obscured by the void?