In the four years since she released her breakthrough second album “Art Angels,” Grimes has posted a lot and complained about her record label, 4AD, but has only released one song, “We Appreciate Power,” and a demo for another called “Pretty Dark.”
Earlier this week she wiped her Instagram account and began posting teasers for a new song with messages like “A new way to die!” and “There were Humans and Gods and nothing but Angels in between.”
All of that sort of figures into “Violence,” a synth-driven, soft-focus collaboration with DJ i_o that comes with a video that’s equally soft-focus on the violence implied in the song’s title. In it, Grimes and several dancers show off some tightly rehearsed moves that include mock pistol-firing and swordplay on a hazy, classically themed set that looks like something from a supermodel session in the 1990s.
“Baby, it’s violence/ You can’t see what I see/ You want to make me bad,” Grimes whispers in her unmistakable voice, although neither the song nor the video are particularly violent.
A press release announcing the song and video came accompanied only by an image of a rock with hieroglyphics on it and some apparently intentionally dummy copy reading things like “Need to fill this out/re-write.”
The video comes just six weeks after Grimes’ manager, Lauren Valencia of Roc Nation, died after a battle with cancer. Grimes weighed in with an emotional Instagram post: “I loved you. Boy, did I love you. Life is beautiful, but we are not entitled to it. Cancer has no intention. It’s just life and death. So I don’t need to cry for you anymore. I think the gods just wanted you back.
“Godspeed, bitch,” Grimes continued. “I hope ur trolling in heaven. For the last seven years, you were the best manager a girl could ask for. I’m glad I saw the world with you (minus Brazil godamit haha.) Always did the right thing, even when you thought no-one was watching. I see you. Looking out for shooting stars. RIP.”