Grimes’ Miss Anthropocene is a blissful dark journey
It’s hard to know where to start with an album like Miss Anthropocene.
The overall sound of the record is one that is really alluring and mysterious. I’ve been looking for this sort of album for a long time, semi-consciously. Why semi? Because there’s a sense of accomplishment upon finding it that only occurred once I hit play. The six minute “So Heavy I Fell Through the Earth” was captivating enough that I knew I was in for a heckuva ride—and possibly a top 10 of 2020 contender. If you mixed Enya with Purity Ring and a host of other electronic influences, this song could result. Grimes takes a heavy concept of giving up autonomy after getting pregnant and makes it into a magnificent ethereal pondering.
Another highlight for me has to be the cyberpunk influeced 4 ÆM (pronounced “4 AM”). The breakbeat influences here are aggressive—it takes me back to one of my first true city concert experiences, standing in the dark at the House of Blues Chicago in 2007, waiting for my favorite act Mutemath to come on. Some similar sounding beats were bombarding the excited crowd as house music. Ever since then, I’ve always enjoyed that anticipatory, mysterious “night on the town” feeling, and Grimes captures that perfectly—especially using the weird “in between” time of 4AM, when some people are still partying from the night prior, and others are starting their day.
Yet another highlight is the endearing “IDORU,” which isn’t an acronym but actually a play on “I adore you,” a refrain throughout the song. “We could play a beautiful game” echoes dreamily throughout the landscapes as well, which really is an invitation for the listener to actively participate in the album. Acceptance of this invitation means many opportunities to zone out and experience new feelings—the best records will do that: open up windows to new emotions you haven’t felt before.
Grimes proves throughout the record that not only is she a nonconformist, but that she is able to display a remarkable consistency within these nonconformities. Each song has a multilayered approach that could be its own essay of exploration—enough so that remixes make the main release. You have to respect that.
Between Grimes and Purity Ring, there will an epic race to the top for off-kilter dream pop in 2020. I’m here for it.