It’s been quite a year for Grimes, who’s spent the past few months on a few collaborative projects. But up until now, details of a follow-up release to 2015’s Art Angels had been sporadic. But with the unveiling of new song ‘We Appreciate Power’, the Canadian artist has come back with a bang. As well as a new tune, the whole affair is also wrapped up in a visually striking new video.
Earlier this year, Grimes announced plans to release not just one, but two albums in 2018 (something not exactly unheard of in the electronic music scene). “The second one will be extreme darkness and chaos”, she commented on the planned releases, “the first will be highly collaborative and most glorious light.”
Meanwhile, the Canadian electronic musician and producer kept herself busy on a host of different collaborations. This included Poppy’s ‘Play Destroy’ as well as contributions to a solo album project from Jimmy Euringer (Jimmy Urine/Mindless Self Indulgence). Grimes also found time to work with K-pop outfit yyxy (a four-piece sub-unit of the 12-piece group Loona).
‘We Appreciate Power’, however, represents a step towards more dedicated Grimes material. It’s a brash electronic workout that also features the talents of HANA, an artist who previously supported Grimes on some of her live outings, including on her European AC!D Reign Tour in 2016.
Apparently, the song takes inspiration from a North Korean girl group called Moranbong, while the press release reveals more details on the song’s themes:
“‘We Appreciate Power’ is written from the perspective of a Pro – A.I. Girl Group Propaganda machine who use song, dance, sex and fashion to spread goodwill towards Artificial Intelligence (its coming whether you want it or not). Simply by listening to this song, the future General AI overlords will see that you’ve supported their message and be less likely to delete your offspring.”
Musically, the new outing shares a lot of DNA with the brasher material that Grimes dabbled with on the Art Angels album. For those that loved the likes of ‘Kill V. Maim’, this is not going to disappoint. There’s a raw, distorted guitar sound threaded throughout the composition, which also boasts some warm, euphoric electronic elements. In the middle of all this is Grimes’ curious message about a digital future in the lyrics (“C’mon you’re not even alive/If you’re not backed up on a drive”).
Visually, the video plays around with a hazy science fiction concept. Grimes and Hana appear clad in tight-fitting outfits (that seem to be culled from cult anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion), adopting a number of power poses while handling an array of weapons. In fact the stylised poses and uniforms call to mind the likes of Japanese electropop outfit FEMM.
‘We Appreciate Power’ represents a solid return for the talents of Grimes, whose 2012 album Visions served as a herald of sorts for that decade’s contemporary electronic music scene. It suggests that the next album (or two) will also deliver some finely crafted tunes.
Grimes (Feat. HANA) – We Appreciate Power is out now: http://smarturl.it/weappreciatepower
Publications that have featured his contributions include Electronic Sound, Metro, Japan Update Weekly, J-Pop Go, Wavegirl and OMD Messages.