Grimes - "Genesis" Video

We’ve already seen the trailer, and now the full self-directed video for Grimes’ “Genesis” is here. And it’s fucking nuts. There’s no real narrative here; best to think of it as a headlong plunge into Grimes’ mall-mystic aesthetic. Flaming swords! Deserts! Pythons! Extreme makeup decisions! Floor-length bright-pink braids! Escalades! There’s a lot going on here, and it’s all fun and weirdly beautiful. Enjoy the video and download the song below.

Visions is out now on 4AD.

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Comments (51)
  1. Yeah no narrative, that’s what I thought too when I saw it. I prefer the music without the video in this case.

  2. The less visual/biographical imput I get on Grimes, the better. I love the music, but this whole Post-Circuswave Hobopunk I’m Going To Sail A Raft Down The Mississippi scene thing–now seemingly cross-pollenated with some sort of Gaga Sailor Moon Tarantino Harajuku thing–just gets me down, man. This is a hot mess.

  3. It’s all right. I think she’s still looking for a visual identity to go along with her music. It seems like she’s onto something, but she can’t quite put into the screen what she’s got in mind.

    While “Genesis” may be the best song in the album, “Oblivion” still has the best video.

  4. It’s like a k-pop video without the k-pop. SOLD!

  5. What in the what?

  6. she’s pretty

  7. That pink-haired rasta-android lady totally steals Grimes’ show.

  8. her crew is on some PCP prince and the revolution type shit. shit is fucked, and nicki minaj/gaga-esque no good.

  9. Appears 4AD believes there’s hidden commercial potential there for Grimes and this track in particular and are attempting to give her a more defined visual style. Nothing wrong with that, but this video doesn’t help. Sometimes having no concept can feel like a concept, but in this case it feels rather thrown together.

  10. Man, after seeing that trailer I couldn’t wait to see this! And it delivered on every promise from the trailer! Good thing this dumb fucking MUSIC VIDEO had a TRAILER two days ago. And thank god you guys posted both.

    UGHHHHHH

  11. Is it possible that this is a satire on the Rihanna/Nicki Minaj/MIA videos of late that portray
    1. I am a tough, independent female.
    2. I have the ability and fully plan to dance through this video. (Seemingly obvious, but one doesn’t have to dance throughout a music video.
    3. I am sexual.

    I’m not necessarily defending the video or it’s narrative or lackthereof. But some of the costumes, settings, and jarring sequence throughout this video make me think of recent female pop videos.

  12. the title of the song is ‘genesis’, there are snakes (the devil), they are also in a garden of some sort (eden). its not as random as you ppl say it is, you just love to hate grimes, thats all, i think its a really nice video

    • Dunno why you have downvotes Mischa. I didn’t connect the dots when I first saw it.

      Not sure where the bubbles in the limo come into play though…

  13. i adore grimes but this video is distinct-via-clusterfuck. i sense she just needs to slow down because very few people can master visual storytelling overnight, nevermind while touring constantly and starring in your own productions. she’s ambitious, smart, badass and beautiful….i just think she’s terrified of being boring and that is the only thing this video really communicates successfully to me.

  14. ‘A Song of Braids and Fire Part I; A Clash of Grimes’ by Claire R. R. Boucher

  15. I just want to thank Stereogum for introducing me to this song (Cruel Summer 2012: Vol 2.)

    This track is absolutely fucking magical and enchanting is what it is.

  16. I pressed play, got distracted for a minute and then ended up watching most of the video without putting the headphones on. Watching it like that, with no sound, it was actually pretty visually interesting. And the “fuck you” look on pink hair, metal wearin’ girls face is bad ass.

    Then I watched it again with all the music and the two just don’t seem to go together at all. Sometimes random juxtapositions in style or concept like this work, but this one missed (for me, anyway).

    I really like this song, though.

  17. Is her hat that says “pussy” across the front a subtle nod to Pussy Riot?

  18. I liked the trailer better than the video. Bu I gotta say that the photography’s amazing. Cheers.

  19. Oh, the TOKiMONSTA cameo made me so happy :)

  20. I feel like in the worst cosplay ever.

  21. Totally predictable locations… Griffith Park? Really? A boring street in LA? Dancing in the back of a limo? WTF?

    How about the SUV? No one thought about what kind of car they should be driving? They just rented… whatever? An Escalade? Great art direction, bravo.

    How about the bionic woman? NOT ATTRACTIVE! Not Lady Gaga or cholo or Jamaican/Brazilian/Diplo-cool. NOT a good dancer. Just straight up bad. This clunky beast competes with Grimes the whole time without being, say, an alter-ego or sidekick or something. She’s just there, forcing us to look at her trot, bend over in the surf and lick a lollypop. Ewe.

    And then hey, why not throw in some Ryan McGinley sparkler / Levi’s Go Forth action for good measure!

    LAME.

    PS I fucking love Grimes; just loathe this video.

  22. i liked Grimes and this song so much more before i saw this video. swinging the mace and the python in the car was cool, but i can’t believe that hippy dance is still around. barf.

  23. “btw nsfw”- my boss

  24. 1. Nobody ever said that a visually arresting video requires a narrative. Claire Boucher directed this video in order to harness greater control over her product; when her video for Crystal Ball emerged, she said in interviews that she felt disappointed about its inclusion of a (subtle) narrative.
    2. After following Grimes on Twitter, none of the elements like the swords, the hair extensions, the snake, or the fashion come across as surprising. This is neo-realist anime, and it captures her personality perfectly.
    3. I don’t think of this video as a satire of Rhianna/ Minaj/ M.I.A. – I feel bad about lumping M.I.A. together with the former two – but rather as Grimes channeling their pop star presences through her own quirky aesthetic. Grimes is first and foremost a pop-drone project.
    4. Props to Mischa for stringing together the denouement on a literal take of Genesis.
    5. The pink badass lady is Brooke Candy, an underground internet rapper. I think that Grimes made her steal the show deliberately. Grimes is totally a proponent of making music with other females who emerge into popularity through the internet.
    6. Seriously, why the negativity? This is such a unique and interesting video (and well edited). I love her for showing females as sexual and powerful but never letting this motif run the show. I take this video over commercialized ones showing booties and champagne sipping any day.

    • None of what you said automatically makes it a good video (other than your opinion that it’s a good video, which I totally respect, just don’t agree).

      1. I agree, videos have NEVER been REQUIRED to make sense. In fact, some of the best of them don’t. And I’m all for having control over your own art. The “art” in this video just really isn’t moving me. And production wise, watching it a second time, it’s not of a very high quality, either.

      2. I don’t believe we should be required to follow people on facebook, twitter, their personal webpage or anywhere else in order to enjoy their art. Music is about music. Videos are about a visual element. None of that is necessarily tied into the static presence of the written word or a still image in an “update”. IMO, too much of that is used these days to cover up the fact that a lot of what artists are doing is just no that interesting.

      3. I don’t really know about any of this, but I agree it’s not meant to overtly be a satire. It may come off that way a bit whether or not it was intended to, though. Either that or a pale copy. Grimes definitely has some quirky going on, no doubt about that. Just not sure she’s found her OWN quirk yet.

      4. Yeah, that does work a little.

      5. Judging by the pics I found of “Brooke Candy” rapper and photographer, I think I would have rather just known her as “bad ass pink lady”. Not sure I agree with her stealing the show being purposeful or about Grimes being “a proponent of making music with other females who emerge into popularity through the internet”. Seriously, Grimes is still an internet artist. She’s a BARELY known. And I have nothing against her. I like her music quite a bit. But I think your ascribing a bit more power and influence to her than she actually has.

      6A. A dissenting opinion is not necessarily negativity. Somebody not agreeing with your opinion is not always negativity. I like the song, I like Grimes, I just don’t think the video is all that.

      6B. Using female sexuality – scantily clad women in bikinis and metal suits, women dancing around in slow motion, woman playing with a snake in slow motion – is all the same. Those who may be offended by one style or another have a hard time seeing this. In truth, there is no difference. It doesn’t matter who does it or what kind of art they’re attaching it to. In the end it’s still sex being used to sell.

  25. People are absolutely blinded by props and glam in music these days. This girl’s voice is awful, most overrated “musician” in the business today.

  26. well, i loved it.

  27. I kept waiting for the sword fight at the end, but it never happened!

  28. I thought video would be more interesting & narrative.

  29. “Hey guys, did you know I like Anime?!?!” <— Grimes

  30. grimes is cray

  31. grimes and her musical aesthetic are shit

  32. I’m fine with Grimes making a dance video with no narrative but this was a boring dance video.

  33. “Dance” video is too generous. With the exception of her spellbinding intro, which I generally like, most of the “dancing” happening here is reminiscent of undergrads dancing in their PJs in front of an iPhone. A sort of misguided attempt at being sexy and laughing at it. That doesn’t make for stellar entertainment for the rest of us, unfortunately. For those of us who generally like Grimes, there is an allure to her pastiche. Admittedly. It’s both in good and bad taste, obvious yet clever, satisfying regardless. The problem I have with this video is that it’s not clever–or at least not as clever as her music. It completely falls flat for me and detracts from her talent (the song! a great song). This video is like an Urban Outfitters catalogue turned into a giant, animated GIF. Maybe I want to believe that Grimes isn’t that dumb…?

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