Editors’ Notes Much of Grimes’ fifth LP is rooted in darkness, a visceral response to the state of the world and the death of her friend and manager Lauren Valencia. “It’s like someone who's very core to the project just disappearing,” she tells Apple Music of the loss. “I've known a lot of people who've died, but cancer just feels so demonic. It’s like someone who wants to live, who's a good person, and their life is just being taken away by this thing that can't be explained. I don't know, it just felt like a literal demon.” Miss Anthropocene deals heavily in theological ideas, each song meant to represent a new god in what Grimes loosely envisioned as “a super contemporary pantheon”—“Violence,” for example, is the god of video games, “My Name Is Dark (Art Mix)” the god of political apathy, and “Delete Forever” the god of suicide. The album’s title is that of the most “urgent” and potentially destructive of gods: climate change. “It’s about modernity and technology through a spiritual lens,” she says of the album, itself an iridescent display of her ability as a producer, vocalist, and genre-defying experimentalist. “I’ve also just been feeling so much pressure. Everyone's like, ‘You gotta be a good role model,’ and I was kind of thinking like, ‘Man, sometimes you just want to actually give in to your worst impulses.’ A lot of the record is just me actually giving in to those negative feelings, which feels irresponsible as a writer sometimes, but it's also just so cathartic.” Here she talks through each of the album's tracks.

So Heavy I Fell Through the Earth (Art Mix)
“I think I wanted to make a sort of hard Enya song. I had a vision, a weird dream where I was just sort of falling to the earth, like fighting a Balrog. I woke up and said, ‘I need to make a video for this, or I need to make a song for this.’ It's sort of embarrassing, but lyrically, the song is kind of about when you decide to get pregnant or agree to get pregnant. It’s this weird loss of self, or loss of power or something. Because it's sort of like a future life in subservience to this new life. It’s about the intense experience deciding to do that, and it's a bit of an ego death associated with making that decision.”

Darkseid
“I forget how I met [Lil] Uzi [Vert]. He probably DMed me or something, just like, ‘Wanna collaborate and hang out and stuff?’ We ended up playing laser tag and I just did terribly. But instrumentally, going into it I was thinking, ‘How do I make like a super kind of goth banger for Uzi?’ When that didn't really work out, I hit up my friend Aristophanes, or Pan. Just because I think she's fucking great, and I think she's a great lyricist and I just love her vocal style, and she kind of sounds good on everything, and it's especially dark stuff. Like she would make this song super savage and intense. I should let Pan explain it, but her translation of the lyrics is about a friend of hers who committed suicide.”

Delete Forever
“A lot of people very close to me have been super affected by the opioid crisis, or just addiction to opiates and heroin—it's been very present in my life, always. When Lil Peep died, I just got super triggered and just wanted to go make something. It seemed to make sense to keep it super clean sonically and to keep it kind of naked. so it's a pretty simple production for me. Normally I just go way harder. The banjo at the end is comped together and Auto-Tuned, but that is my banjo playing. I really felt like Lil Peep was about to make his great work. It's hard to see anyone die young, but especially from this, ’cause it hit so close to home.”

Violence
“This sounds sort of bad: In a way it feels like you're giving up when you sing on someone else's beats. I literally just want to produce a track. But it was sort of nice—there was just so much less pain in that song than I think there usually is. There's this freedom to singing on something I've never heard before. I just put the song on for the first time, the demo that [producer/DJ] i_o sent me, and just sang over it. I was like, 'Oh!' It was just so freeing—I never ever get to do that. Everyone's like, ‘What's the meaning? What's the vibe?’ And honestly, it was just really fucking fun to make. I know that's not good, that everyone wants deeper meanings and emotions and things, but sometimes just the joy of music is itself a really beautiful thing.”

4ÆM
“I got really obsessed with this Bollywood movie called Bajirao Mastani—it’s about forbidden love. I was like, ‘Man, I feel like the sci-fi version of this movie would just be incredible.’ So I was just sort of making fan art, and I then I really wanted to get kind of crazy and futuristic-sounding. It’s actually the first song I made on the record—I was kind of blocked and not sure of the sonic direction, and then when I made this I was like, ‘Oh, wow, this doesn't sound like anything—this will be a cool thing to pursue.’ It gave me a bunch of ideas of how I could make things sound super future. That was how it started.”

New Gods
“I really wish I started the record with this song. I just wanted to write the thesis down: It's about how the old gods sucked—well, I don't want to say they sucked, but how the old gods have definitely let people down a bit. If you look at old polytheistic religions, they're sort of pre-technology. I figured it would be a good creative exercise to try to think like, ‘If we were making these gods now, what would they be like?’ So it's sort of about the desire for new gods. And with this one, I was trying to give it a movie soundtrack energy.”

My Name Is Dark (Art Mix)
“It's sort of written in character, but I was just in a really cranky mood. Like it's just sort of me being a whiny little brat in a lot of ways. But it's about political apathy—it’s so easy to be like, ‘Everything sucks. I don't care.’ But I think that's a very dangerous attitude, a very contagious one. You know, democracy is a gift, and it's a thing not many people have. It's quite a luxury. It seems like such a modern affliction to take that luxury for granted.”

You’ll miss me when I’m not around
“I got this weird bass that was signed by Derek Jeter in a used music place. I don't know why—I was just trying to practice the bass and trying to play more instruments. This one feels sort of basic for me, but I just really fell in love with the lyrics. It’s more like ‘Delete Forever,’ where it feels like it's almost too simple for Grimes. But it felt really good—I just liked putting it on. Again, you gotta follow the vibe, and it had a good vibe. Ultimately it's sort of about an angel who kills herself and then she wakes up and she still made it to heaven. And she's like, 'What the fuck? I thought I could kill myself and get out of heaven.’ It's sort of about when you're just pissed and everyone's being a jerk to you.”

Before the Fever
“I wanted this song to represent literal death. Fevers are just kind of scary, but a fever is also sort of poetically imbued with the idea of passion and stuff too. It's like it's a weirdly loaded word—scary but compelling and beautiful. I wanted this song to represent this trajectory where like it starts sort of threatening but calm, and then it slowly gets sort of more pleading and like emotional and desperate as it goes along. The actual experience of death is so scary that it's kind of hard to keep that aloofness or whatever. I wanted it to sort of be like following someone's psychological trajectory if they die. Specifically a kind of villain. I was just thinking of the Joffrey death scene in Game of Thrones. And it's like, he's so shitty and such a prick, but then, when he dies, like, you feel bad for him. I kind of just wanted to express that feeling in the song.”

IDORU
“The bird sounds are from the Squamish birdwatching society—their website has lots of bird sounds. But I think this song is sort of like a pure love song. And it just feels sort of heavenly—I feel very enveloped in it, it kind of has this medieval/futurist thing going on. It's like if ‘Before the Fever’ is like the climax of the movie, then ‘IDORU’ is the end title. It's such a negative energy to put in the world, but it's good to finish with something hopeful so it’s not just like this mean album that doesn't offer you anything.”

SONG
So Heavy I Fell Through the Earth (Art Mix)
1
6:08
 
Darkseid
2
3:44
 
Delete Forever
3
3:57
 
Violence
4
3:40
 
4Æm
5
4:30
 
New Gods
6
3:15
 
My Name is Dark (Art Mix)
7
5:56
 
You'll miss me when I'm not around
8
2:41
 
Before the Fever
9
3:37
 
Idoru
10
7:13
 

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