Grimes is a visionary artist, and her highly anticipated sixth studio album is shaping up to be an exciting new era in her discography. Even back in 2018, two years before the release of her record Miss Anthropocene, Grimes was dreaming up the music, saying she was “crazy stoked” about what was to come. The singer has been dropping little bits of information regarding the forthcoming record in true Grimes fashion, often through Instagram comments, her own Discord community, or very fun TikTok videos.
“I think it is by far my greatest work that I’ve ever done,” she said in a video interview with Vogue. “I think I went into this being like ‘I’m going to sign to a major label and I’m going to be a really big artist’ and all this stuff, and in that process, I started being like ‘no’. I… literally don’t care if anyone listens to this sh*t. I just want it to be great, to be unequivocally just great art.”
The new album may not have an official title or release date, but there’s plenty to get caught up on before the new age of Grimes begins. See everything there is to know, below.
It’s a “space opera” about a lesbian AI romance
Grimes is an artist, which means she doesn’t just “make records,” she has “concepts.” Like her fifth studio album, Miss Anthropocene, which was loosely based on an "anthropomorphic goddess of climate change" inspired by Roman mythology and villainy.
Now her forthcoming record is leaving earth and heading out to the cosmos. From Grimes’ Instagram comments to your ears: “It’s a space opera about CLAIRE DE LUNE — an artificial courtesan who was implanted in a simulation that is a memory of the AI creation story on earth from the brain of the engineer who invented AI because he wants to re live his life but see if his perfect dream girl could teach him to love and thereby he would preserve humanity this time rather than let them fade into obscurity — overcome by the machines.”
She continued: “As she slowly realizes she is essentially a dancing puppet for the male gaze tho, their relationship grows complex. Simultaneously — ‘NO ONE’ (the most powerful super intelligence in the future where the simulation is being rendered from) realizes there’s a massive hyper-realistic sim running and sends in her troll AI puppets to wreak havoc.”
It’s her first record after parting ways with 4AD
Grimes joined Columbia Records in March 2021, after releasing three albums on her former label 4AD. Grimes had her fair share of issues with 4AD, once calling it a “sh*t label” on Twitter; she quickly apologized, writing, “i'm sorry negative shit i said ended up in the press today, i didn't mean to spread bad vibes ugh.” That being said: the music industry does suck!
She’s been teasing potential singles, including “Shinigami Eyes”
During a transmission on the “Metaverse Stage” of her newly launched Discord server, Grimes teased a new song, “Shinigami Eyes,” a techno track that’s part ode to the popular anime Death Note and that time she trolled everyone into thinking she got experimental eye surgery to block out all blue light. Grimes initially hinted the song’s title with binary code — she is nothing if not but on-brand.
Her obsession with the anime has been well-documented, and Grimes scholars already knew she was captivated by Shinigami, the supernatural spirits that invite humans toward death in Japanese culture. “I got Shinigami eyes. It cost me half my life span but now I can see the true name of everyone and when they will die,” she tweeted in 2019. “Only the real will ones will understand.”
“100 Percent Tragedy” is about defeating Azealia Banks
Grimes and Banks are both groundbreaking artists in their own right, and in some alternate universe, they did collaborate to create a paradigm-shifting song. Sadly, on this plane of existence, plans for a collaboration quickly unraveled in 2018 after Banks flew to Los Angeles to ostensibly record, but spent the weekend waiting for Grimes in Elon Musk’s home. Then came the text message argument screenshots, which included haunting disses about how Grimes smells “like a roll of nickels” and how Banks is a buffet’s biggest fear. The beef, which is now legendary, for better or for worse, even escalated out of the music sphere and into lawsuit involving Tesla. After teasing “100 Percent Tragedy,” Grimes wrote in her Discord chat that that song “is about having to defeat azealia banks when she tried to destroy my life.”
Banks initially wasn’t down with the backstory to “100 Percent Tragedy,” but since Grimes and longtime boyfriend, Elon Musk, announced their split on September 24, the hope for a collaboration has been renewed. “Okay girl, can we finally make those darn songs now that apartheid Clyde is out of the way?” Banks wrote on her Instagram story. “We were really supposed to eat these bitches up.” The butterfly effect of these songs could lead to so much peace, prosperity, and abundance. Think about it...