Updated: Jul 15, 2020
equality factor: self-taught, self-producing apocalyptic goddess vibes
producer: Claire Boucher (Grimes)
features: HANA, i_o, 潘PAN
origin: Vancouver, Canada
Yesterday, Canadian producer, songwriter, and musician Claire Boucher - better known as Grimes - has released her long-awaited fourth and final studio album Miss Anthropocene. In typical Grimes fashion, the record is a dark concept album, carried by the theme of the goddess of global warming (as indicated by the title) and the dystopian future of humanity.
a mix of familiar ethereal synth sounds, bass-heavy grunge greatness and unheard of ethereal metal and experimental tunes.
Following the 2015 success of Grimes' third studio album, the acclaimed Art Angels, Miss Anthropocene finally feeds the hungry ears of the underground electronic musician's fans with a mix of familiar ethereal synth sounds, bass-heavy grunge greatness and unheard of ethereal metal and experimental tunes. For both the fans of the mystic-sounding Geidi Primes and the pop-electronic Art Angels, this album hits all the right notes. Known for her radically self-expressive creativity and production skills, Grimes presents eleven highly thought-through and well-produced original titles, as well as four extended "art mixes" of a few songs. Recurring themes of the record are topics that she and partner Elon Musk might discuss over a cup of coffee: the evil goddess of global warming, drugs, artificial intelligence, and the downfall of humanity.
While the record might not be one coherent in-character product of the mastermind of Miss Anthropocene, goddess of global warming, it is notably a collection of highly conceptual and skillfully produced songs that are all filled with a sense of dread, darkness, and cynicism. Both with controversial lyrics that are far beyond the subtle metaphors for dark topics frequently appearing on Art Angels or Geidi Primes, and with complex layered sound productions - Grimes fills every single one of the ten tunes with riddled meanings, concepts, and ideas.
Miss Anthropocene is a collection of highly conceptual and skillfully produced songs that are all filled with a sense of dread, darkness and cynicism.
The album opens with the melancholic, electric guitar-heavy "So Heavy I Fell Through The Earth", on which Grimes describes a sense of loss of control upon getting pregnant. While the song might as well be another reference to global warning - remember the abusive love story between earth and humanity as described in "Violence"? - the main motive of the song reflects her feeling of giving up part of her autonomy and "ego death" as she decides to take on the responsibility of becoming a mother. Furthermore, the song also hints at Grimes's overall displease of the media's constant addressing of her and Tesla-CEO Elon Musk's relationship. In previous statements, she mentioned feeling like being in love is affecting her career. In 2018, she explained: “The biggest change for me this year is losing my hardcore masculinity. I used to just be free - free of all this bullshit that it seemed like all the other girls were going through, and now I feel like I’m not.” Perhaps "So Heavy" hints at the overall feeling of loss of freedom that entails being bound to someone - be it a partner or a child.
No matter what, we applaud Grimes for addressing the difficult aspects of what it means to be a woman, a mother, a partner.
After the opening title, Miss Anthropocene quickly picks up the pace with the alien "Darkseid", named after a Justice League villain. Villainous and dark are also the lyrics, mainly delivered by frequent collaborator and friend of Grimes, the Taiwanese Rapper 潘PAN. The song, a dark and un-melodic poem discussing the suicide of a friend, is followed by the great contrast of the acoustic guitar track "Delete Forever". Sounding untypically stripped down and melodic for Grimes, the third track deals with the opioid crisis and downward spiral of young artists that are both inspired and destroyed by drug abuse. Written on the night that rapper Lil Peep died of an overdose, Grimes addresses feeling like a discharged soldier, torn apart by PTSD after having lost many of her best friends in the war of drugs, specifically heroin. In an interview with lyric-debunking Genius, she explains the lyrics and meaning of the song.
Other highlights of the album are undoubtedly the dark dance-anthem "Violence", a collaboration with DJ i_o, the ethereal metal propaganda song for A.I. world domination "We Appreciate Power", and the happy-sounding "You'll miss me when I'm not around" - a sarcastic and fatalistic take on suicidal thoughts and self-harm. As done on previous records, Grimes again collaborates with her closest friends HANA and 潘PAN, proving again that she makes her own rules in all of her music - if she gets an opportunity to collaborate with underrated female artists who she happens to have great chemistry with, she'll do it without a doubt.
Grimes again collaborates with some her closest friends HANA and 潘PAN, proving again that she makes her own rules in all of her music.
All in all, the album offers nearly too many references, deeper meanings, and room for interpretation for us to dive into one article. Each song can be listened to, read upon, and analyzed thoroughly, most of them accompanied by complex sci-fi themed music videos and visual art to add another layer of meaning. It provides both Art Mixes and Algorithm Mixes of four songs - a clever move that both subtly criticizes how streaming services' algorithm affects the success of artistic music, and lets Grimes make the album appear longer and richer beyond its 11 titles. While Miss Anthropocene is not as straight-forward in its goddess of global character, it is still a record that addresses apocalyptic themes and the dark sides of today's culture in every single song. Whether it is artificial intelligence, global warming, opiates, or depression that will be the downfall of humankind - Grimes plays out every horrifically beautiful dystopian scenario with an eye for dreadful detail in another song.
- she is basically the leader of equality empowerment -
On this fifth and final studio album of hers, Grimes has truly perfected her production skills. The Canadian self-taught artist can basically write, produce, and mix music in her sleep. Whether she creates a Bollywood-inspired cyberpunk banger like "4ÆM", an acoustic guitar demo like "Delete Forever" or the aggressive propaganda sound of "We Appreciate Power" - all of her work is captivatingly and intoxicatingly addictive and becomes more intriguing with every listen. Whether you like the sound of dystopia and drums or not - in a music industry where the standard studio set-up is still defined by a man behind the production set-up, a female do-it-yourself artist like Grimes is an essential role model for all women in music. When it comes to electronic music production, she is basically the leader of equality empowerment, in touch with her leading and masculine role. Call her Claire Boucher, C, Grimes or Miss Anthropocene - Grimes does what she wants, and is always 100% in control. Even when she is releasing an album and doing promotion at seven months pregnant. This album is the perfect example of that.