Even before you get into the music of Miss Anthropocene, the fifth studio LP from Grimes, it is apparent that this record finds the one born Claire Boucher on a much darker tip than its predecessor Art Angels. From the unsettling artwork to track titles such as ‘So Heavy I Fell Through The Earth’, ‘Delete Forever’ and the i_o-featuring ‘Violence’, Miss Anthropocene’s aesthetic promises perhaps the darkest Grimes album to date.
The dark clouds which hang over many tracks on Miss Anthropocene make good on this promise. While some of the peppy beats and textures of Art Angels remain, there is an air of paranoid uncertainty to much of the record which in fact has more in keeping with Grimes’ 2012 sublime breakthrough LP Visions. On cuts such as ‘4AEM’ Boucher uses some of her typical tropes - ethereal vocals, synths lifted from the world of trance music and hyperactive electro-pop drums which verge on drum ‘n’ bass - to invoke a feeling of mania. Elsewhere on the record ‘My Name Is Dark’ and ‘Before The Fever’ come off as some of the heaviest things she has ever done, following through on the sound of pre-album single ‘We Appreciate Power’ to create doomladen shoegaze-grunge for the anime generation.
However, not everything here is downtrodden. The aforementioned ‘Delete Forever’ is in fact one of the more upbeat numbers, a wistful jangle in the vein of Art Angels cut ‘Belly Of The Beat’, and there is similar clarity to ‘you’ll miss me when I'm not around’. There is also some euphoria to be found in the maximalist chug of ‘Violence’, one of Miss Anthropocene’s purest pop moments.
Five years on from her previous album, the celebrated Art Angels, Grimes returns with her moody new effort Miss Anthropocene.