Phew, it’s been quite a year for Grimes. Outside of a couple collaborations, she’s barely released any music in 2018, but she has managed to make headlines nonetheless. Between some early year label drama and her ongoing relationship with tech boy Elon Musk, which somehow took a wild Azealia Banks detour, it’s been a rollercoaster! And simmering in the background of all these ups-and-downs has been the promise of new music, Claire Boucher’s — excuse me, C’s — first significant material since 2015’s Art Angels, which was Stereogum’s #1 album of that year.
There have been some teasers along the way. Back in June, she posted snippets of two new tracks on her social media and had another new song, “That’s What The Drugs Are For,” featured in an Apple commercial. But the floodgates finally broke at the beginning of this week, when Grimes solidified plans to release a brand-new song today, and just like clockwork here it is. It’s the first song we’re hearing from her upcoming fifth album.
“We Appreciate Power” features HANA, the moniker of Hana Pestle, who has been in the Grimes orbit ever since she toured with her and Lana Del Rey a few summers ago. The five-and-a-half-minute track features chugging Nine Inch Nails-style guitars and a whole lot of background screams. It alternates between dreamy and nightmarish. “Pledge allegiance to the world/ The most powerful computer/ Simulation is the future,” Grimes sings at one point.
According to a press release, the song was inspired by the North Korean girl group Moranbong, whose members are reportedly all hand-picked by Kim Jong-un. The release describes the song as such:
‘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.
“We Appreciate Power” is out now via 4AD.