Music

Grimes' Sprawling Testament to Digi-Pop

We finally got it: Grimes' follow-up to her 2015 worldwide smash, Art Angels, is here — and it's an electronica-infused journey through the fear and fire she's encountered while navigating the general abyss of fame. So get streaming, girlies!

It may have taken half a decade for Miss Anthropocene to get an official release, but die-hard Grimes fans haven't been starving for very long. Over the past several years, Grimes has been teasing fans with singles and mixes here and there, but only her 2018 single "We Appreciate Power," featuring HANA, would make the final cut for her 2020 record.

The end result of Miss Anthropocene, consisting almost entirely of un-recycled material from her official release hiatus, is concise in its tracklisting, but sprawling in terms of its overall experimental pop soundscape.

"We Appreciate Power" ends up representing a non-dominant sound on the full album — one that's more abrasive and less accessible. If the 2018 track represents an undying devotion to sonic dictatorship, then the rest of the album is dedicated to a broad empathy only unlocked within reverberating synth patterns and downtrodden lyrics.

Songs like "Delete Forever" and "Before the fever" are melancholy monuments to the opioid crisis and the potential loss of a generation; the most moving tracks aren't full-volume head bangers, but ethereal scenes set to uniquely-Grimes drum and basement synth patterns.

Whether or not the media has influenced her darker direction since Art AngelsMiss Anthropocene can't be considered "angelic" in any sense of the word — Grimes has been the subject of scrutiny, almost daily, for years. It's hard to think that the constant badgering, scandals involving a range of characters like Azealia Banks and Elon Musk, and overall toxicity of social media hasn't led to a decay in her tone.

Regardless, it's evident that Miss Anthropocene is a product of the five years it took to put the record out. For better or worse, that timespan led to the creation of something so much more connective than a clickbait TMZ article about her pregnancy or a viral Twitter thread. It led to — in the words of "IDORU" — a "beautiful game" that only Grimes could be capable of refereeing.

Photo courtesy of Mac Boucher and Neil Hansen

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