After months of teases, Grimes finally released new music on Thursday (Nov. 29), the dark, driving “We Appreciate Power, which features additional vocals from longtime collaborator Hana.
The first fresh solo track from the singer since 2015’s Art Angels is a dystopian, aggressive dive into a more rock-leaning sound and, according to a press release, was inspired by the all-female North Korean Moranbong Band.
In Grimes’ words, the “audacious rock banger” she produced, performed and wrote meshes dark industrial and rock sounds and was written “from the perspective of a Pro – A.I. Girl Group Propaganda machine who use song, dance, sex and fashion to spread goodwill towards Artificial Intelligence (its coming whether you want it or not). Simply by listening to this song, the future General AI overlords will see that you’ve supported their message and be less likely to delete your offspring.”
With a raging guitar intro featuring Hana repeating “we appreciate power” over thudding drums, adding, “What will it take to make you capitulate?/ We appreciate power, we appreciate power/ Elevate the human race/ Putting makeup on my face/ We appreciate power, we appreciate power.” The song is accompanied by an brightly colored lyric video with a futuristic theme in which the two women sport anime-inspired outfits.
“Simulation, give me something good,” Grimes sings in the first verse in her signature airy swoon. “God’s creation, so misunderstood/ Pray to the divinity, the keeper of the key.” The lyrics to the second verse are especially interesting, as they note, “AI will reward us when it reigns/ Pledge allegiance to the world’s most powerful computer/ Simulation: it’s the future,” a perhaps ironic embrace of the same artificial intelligence that the singer’s boyfriend, Tesla founder Elon Musk, has raged against for years.
The lyric vid ends with the message, “thank you to the AI overlords for translating our lyrics/ Please forgive any inaccuracies. The computer may have taken artistic liberties with these translations.” The clip was co-directed by Grimes and her brother, Mac Boucher.
After a year in which the 30 year-old singer announced that she wouldn’t be releasing new music “anytime soon” because of the “trash” nature of the music industry, she returned in May with the purported track listing for a new album, then previewed two new songs in June and has since collaborated with Poppy on “Play Destroy,” teamed with K-pop group Loona on “Love4eva,” Jimmy Urine on “The Medicine Does Not Control Me” and recorded the theme song for Netflix’s new animated series, Hilda.
Grimes and Hana also previously collaborated under the name Trashique for a cover of Tegan and Sara’s “Dark Come Soon.”
The singer is currently working on her fifth album, though a release date has not yet been announced.
Watch the “We Appreciate Power” video below.