The world has been waiting three and a half years for Grimes to follow up Art Angels, Stereogum’s pick for the best album of 2015. It seems to be finally happening. After sharing a proper single called “We Appreciate Power” last year, last night Grimes announced a new album called Miss_Anthropocene, which she calls “a concept album about the anthropomorphic Goddess of climate Change: A psychedelic, space-dwelling demon/ beauty-Queen who relishes the end of the world.” And now she’s given the first interview of the Miss_Anthropocene press cycle.
Speaking with the Wall Street Journal, Claire Boucher shared all kinds of interesting tidbits. For one thing, she believes the Grimes project is nearing its endpoint: “I think I’ll kill ‘Grimes’ soon. It will be a public execution followed by — by something else. I shouldn’t say yet.” She explains that Grimes as it currently exists is too limiting for her ambitions: “It would be easier for me if I wasn’t stuck with the branding I made in 2009, you know?” She goes so far as to say that the Grimes character may represent the exact opposite of the person she is today.
Claire, her birth name, is also “done and dead,” and her preferred c nomenclature (italicized and lowercase, thank you very much) is only “an intermediate name.” She plans to eventually take up the name of the main character in her book series, an elaborate mythology comparable to J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord Of The Rings. It sounds like the books will have a soundtrack, too: “Only, the songs will come first. It’ll be like Sailor Moon and Game Of Thrones, and yeah, it’s super, super pretentious….” Relatedly, “I call branding that is art, lore. Prince has lore. Rihanna has great lore. It’s essentially world building. It’s my favorite art form.”
As for the lore surrounding Miss_Anthropocene, she elaborates: “It’s fun. I want to make climate change fun. People don’t care about it, because we’re being guilted. I see the polar bear and want to kill myself. No one wants to look at it, you know? I want to make a reason to look at it. I want to make it beautiful.” She wants the album’s iconography to include “pro-apocalypse PSAs” and a shoot in which she sits naked at a table a la The Last Supper eating bloodied corpses of endangered animals: “Like, I’m eating an elephant head.”
There is also some discussion of her relationship with Elon Musk, including the phrase “I love him” and this bit when his name first comes up: “Don’t tell him I groaned just now. I groaned out of, I don’t know, feminism. I mean, he’s a super-interesting goddamn person.” Musk chimes in over email, “I love c’s wild fae artistic creativity and hyper intense work ethic.” The story doesn’t specify whether that romantic partnership remains ongoing, but it strongly implies as much. The new album’s big love ballad “So Heavy I Fell Through The Earth,” though, was allegedly inspired by the Assassin’s Creed movie trailer. “It’s probably not a Grimes song,” she says. “It’s got a lot of heart.”
Miss_Anthropocene seems to be coming this year, and I, for one, can’t decide whether I’m more stoked for new Grimes music or new Grimes pullquotes. Prepare thyselves!