The world was introduced to “Miss Anthropocene” this Friday when Grimes released her first album in five years. The album has been anticipated for years, with the singer consistently teasing it and promoting it through recent media attention regarding her relationship with Elon Musk.
In 2017, Grimes announced on Twitter that new music was coming “soon” to follow up her 2015 album, “Art Angels.” Then, in 2018, she wrote in an Instagram post, “welp no music any time soon after all.” In 2019, she announced the name of the album would be “Miss Anthropocene” and released a few songs, including “Violence” featuring DJ i_o, but still didn’t give any confirmation on when the new album was due for release.
In the midst of all of this, Grimes grew a larger following and gained media attention when she entered into a relationship with Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla. They met through Twitter after they both made a joke about a thought experiment called Roko’s Basilisk. They made their debut as a couple at the 2018 Met Gala. There has been speculation that the couple has broken up a few times when they unfollowed and re-followed each other on Twitter and Instagram, but neither have made official statements on those incidents.
Throughout the years, Grimes and Musk have supported each other in their projects, with Musk in the audience at Grimes’ performance at The Game Awards 2019. Musk also used a hologram that looked like Grimes when unveiling Tesla’s new Cybertruck, though he did not confirm that the hologram was her.
In January, rumors began to spread that Grimes was pregnant after she posted a nude photo of herself on Instagram with a fetus photoshopped onto her belly. While there was no caption on the photo, Grimes replied to a comment and said she was “knocked up.” It wasn’t until Feb. 20, hours before “Miss Anthropocene” was released, that Grimes confirmed her pregnancy, saying she was seven months pregnant in an Instagram post. Musk is still not confirmed to be the father.
With everything going on in her life, no one knew what to expect when “Miss Anthropocene” finally dropped. The name is a pun on the words “misanthrope,” meaning a general hatred and distrust for human kind, and “Anthropocene,” a geological time period meant to denote the period since humans made an impact on Earth. While it stayed true to her techno-pop style with a lot of electronic beats, the album has a darker and more gothic tone than her previous works.
In an Instagram post, Grimes wrote that the album was supposed to be “a concept album about the anthropomorphic Goddess of climate Change: A psychedelic, space-dwelling demon/beauty-Queen who relishes the end of the world. She’s composed of Ivory and Oil.”
The opening song, “So Heavy I Fell Through the Earth,” starts off with heavy synth beats and dramatic music, sounding like a mourning for the planet. The mood quickly changes with the next song, “Darkseid,” which has faster bass beats and features Mandarin rap by Taiwanese artist Aristophanes. Then, “Delete Forever” presents an unexpected acoustic ballad, giving a calming sense to the end of the world. The album ends with “IDORU,” a song with multiple overlapping beat tracks and complex rhythms that take elements from every track on her album.
“Miss Anthropocene” turned out to be an ambitious concept album, using a dark tone to cover topics from climate change to how humans interact with the planet. “Art Angels” has a more upbeat, synth-pop sound than her latest release. This new direction shows that Grimes can diversify her style drastically from art pop to ethereal wave, and with all of the different elements being played, she still tied them all together. With the new elements in her life, the album shows Grimes proving her talent and individuality to the world.