Now that Grimes has revealed her big personal news, it’s back to the promotional trail for Miss Anthropocene, her first album since 2015’s Art Angels, which finally drops next month. Today that means breaking down the album’s single “My Name Is Dark” for Genius.
This is notable for a couple reasons. For one thing, Grimes typically doesn’t do a lot of video interviews, but between this Genius piece and her recent visit to Zane Lowe’s show, she’s been on camera a lot lately. On Instagram, she suggests she ought to do more of these: “This was a good one, I feel like I need to do more video interviews so ppl can catch my vibe a bit better.. never works when I’m edited in a written story cuz it gets too abstracted.” Also, Grimes has spoken before about disliking the sound of her singing without vocal effects, but in this video she sings the “My Name Is Dark” lyrics a cappella. (It sounds good, c!)
She begins by explaining that the song was originally titled “That’s What The Drugs Are For” but someone informed her she couldn’t keep that title. We’re told after coming up with the demo in about 12 minutes she spent approximately 100 hours on producing and mixing the track, and that she wanted it to sound “like a roaring beast,” like, say, “leviathan in the mist” or a “giant behemoth kind of thing,” and that the process was “a nightmare of retroactive painting” but she loved it upon completion.
As for the subject matter, she compares the song’s no-fucks-given attitude to the Joker: “When you don’t care if you live or die, when you’re so depressed that you’re like, ‘Whatever, fuck it.'” There are also references to her contentious relationship with the media (hi again), her younger days in Montreal, breaking things while singing along to “Bullet With Butterfly Wings,” and much more. It’s quite detailed and engaging, and you can watch it all below.
Miss Anthropocene is out 2/21 on 4AD.