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Live Review: Grimes is at her best on Miss Anthropocene

6 March 2020 | 2:18 pm | Staff Writer

After five long years since her previous album Art Angels and with only a few non-album singles to tie over fans, Claire Boucher, the singer more commonly known as Grimes returns with a raging concept album about climate change. Titled Miss Anthropocene (after the goddess of Climate Change) this is Grimes’ way of drawing attention to the looming climate apocalypse. It’s a winding narrative and Grimes does her best to personify the beast into ten (fifteen if you’re listening to the deluxe) tracks.

To kick the album cycle off was the excellent single ‘We Appreciate Power’ which was released at the end of 2018. Appearing only on the deluxe version of the album, it features close friend, tour mate and musician HANA and it set the dystopian tone of what was to come.

A recent tabloid figure due to her new romantic relations with Elon Musk, Grimes utilises the tabloid criticisms and creates her very own ‘Reputation’ record. This was more famously done by Taylor Swift only a couple of years earlier. Although surrounded by smaller controversies about her ideologies (specifically the removal of anti-imperialist in her twitter bio), she manages to cut through the drama to reveal true sonic chaos. One such hidden gem among this doomsday soundscape, is the track ‘You’ll miss me when I’m not around’. It’s in a similar thematic vein of her earlier kiss-off work found on Art Angels. It begins with a nu-metal roaring bass guitar that pulses throughout the track. This is then accompanied by her pitched up vocals that appear between further layers of Grimes’ ethereal fairy whispers and sighs. As always with Grimes she has crafted an intricate, throbbing track.

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On the other end of the spectrum is the country-esque ‘Delete Forever’. It’s a far cry from anything else found on Miss Anthropocene. Again this recalls the earlier more guitar focused sounds of Art Angels. This time however, Grimes sings over a guitar/banjo sample and reaches into her upper vocal range to croon about the struggles with addiction. She wrote it the night Lil Peep died of an accidental overdose. It’s one of the best cuts off the album.

Now a fully bonafide popstar, Grimes builds on the success of her previous albums to produce a darker, more emotional record. Although her interview mishaps and dating drama with the uber-rich entrepreneur Musk may be at times her downfall, that aside the album is an exciting return to form. She manages to incorporate numerous styles and themes to create a more personal record. Even if at times it fails to live up to her orginal and bold thematic claim about climate change. It doesn’t matter however, because after five long years it’s pure ecstasy to return to the sonic world of Grimes.

Miss Anthropecene is out now. You can find it here.

Words by Lawson Wrigley

Image by Eli Russell Linnetz