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GRIMES Miss Anthropocene gets 9/10


Grimes

Miss Anthropocene
4AD/Remote Control

9/10

Miss Anthropocene is the fifth studio album from Canadian experimental/electronic artist Claire Boucher aka Grimes. It is a concept record of sorts, centred around the idea of an anthropomorphic goddess of climate change inspired by Roman mythology and villainy.

The name itself is an amalgamation of Misanthropy, the general hatred and distrust of the human species or human nature, and Anthropocene, the period of time that humankind has started to negatively affect the Earth’s geology and ecosystems, including climate change. It is a dark but joyously ambitious work.

The album opens with six minute epic So Heavy I fell Through the Earth. With a driving beat and airy vocals, it cooly slinks in to set the otherworldly, ethereal mood of the album. Second track Darkseid is well… dark and industrial. It is the most exploratory track on the album, possibly due to the collaboration with the producer 潘PAN, and it’s just plain wicked.

Violence is the most traditional Grimes track on the album despite it being a collab with the producer i_o. The lyrics are a commentary and rebuttal to her reputation and portrayal in the media in relation to her controversial relationship with billionaire, space mogul Elon Musk, where she has been painted as a villain. Her thinking? If you want her to play the villain, why not make it fun: “You wanna make me bad? …I like it like that”.

The lightest moment of the album comes in latest single Delete Forever. With its jangly acoustic guitar and less produced vocal, the track stands out by being almost pop-folk, despite its dark lyrics (“Flowing to the sun/ Fucking heroin… But I can’t see above it/ Guess I fucking love it”). It details the lament of a mystical empress as her empire crumbles around her, a metaphor for losing friends to drug addiction and the grief that follows, subsequently mirroring the pain of the initial addiction.

A notable omission from the album was the nu metal-esque banger We Appreciate Power that was rumoured to be the first single off Miss Anthropocene. Still worth a mention, the song focuses on her fascination with artificial intelligence and transhumanism with many stating that her relationship Musk was the inspiration for this song. The song will be included on the digital deluxe edition and Japanese CD release of the album.

Closer IDORU is the breath of fresh air on the album. Clocking in at over seven minutes, it feels like the shroud of darkness has been lifted and a light of positivity is finally shining in, like the happy ending to a movie. With playful lyrics such as “You could chase me down the way/ I wanna play a beautiful game/ Even though we’re gonna lose/ But I adore you”, she has teased on her Instagram that it is her cheesy love song, and possibly an ode to Musk. It doesn’t feel like seven minutes and could just keep going, a perfect closer to the album.

A clear departure from the commercial pop hooks of Art Angels, Miss Anthropocene is a peek through the looking glass into the life and recent times of soon-to-be-mum Boucher, taking a firm grasp of her infatuation with science fiction and futuristic concepts. This album will reward the listener that takes a deeper journey down the rabbit hole and it is definitely an record to be listened to in its entirety. Rumoured to be already working on a techno-pop album, Boucher is always looking to the stars for the next stage of her evolution.

ANTHONY JACKSON

Miss Anthropocene is out tomorrow, Friday February 21.

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