Grimes Releases Hand-Curated Spotify Playlist

Photo: @grimes on Instagram

 

Grimes has released a Spotify playlist of her favorite songs at the moment, along with new artwork and a statement about the collection.

In the caption of her Instagram post, Grimes explains that she’s tried to keep the playlist to mostly artists “who write or produce their own shit. Artists I feel a kinship towards in some capacity.” She also reveals the formation of a new subgenre of music she’s created, the “Fae,” or the music of the “nu apocalypse.”

She writes: “The fae are the children living at the end of the world, who make art that reflects what its like to live knowing the earth may not sustain humanity much longer. We live knowing that environmentally driven genocide is nigh, that the least equipped are to be struck down by the very earth itself. Repentance by the innocent for the sins of the rich.”

 

Starting a Spotify playlist. K had an edible before writing this so … its gonna be meandering—————–—– In any case — obvïs missing a lot of artists/ songs on here but I plan to rotate it semi regularly, and for now trying to stick to recent ish releases —————–—– Description: songs i love.. tryin’ to stick to independent artists, not always possible tho, and gnerally artists who write or produce their own shit. Artists I feel a kinship towards in some capacity. its a good energy for gaming or drawing in particular —————–————— Also creating my own genre cuz ppl always ask what my genre is. theres more to it, but this is the first paragraph of my manifesto haha —————–——–———–— “The fae are the children living at the end of the world, who make art that reflects what its like to live knowing the earth may not sustain humanity much longer. We live knowing that environmentally driven genocide is nigh, that the least equipped are to be struck down by the very earth itself. Repentance by the innocent for the sins of the rich. This does not mean that all fae art is directly about this, but that the influence of this reality is inescapable for the fae” @purityring @hanatruly and @nicoledollanganger have already joined me in our nu apocalypse subgenera link in bio

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The playlist includes everyone from SZA to Kelela to, surprisingly, Taylor Swift. Take a look/ listen below…

 

Grimes Is Hard At Work On New Music

Photo: @grimes on Instagram

Grimes has announced over Instagram that she’s working very hard on creating new music—she recently wrote: “I know I’ve been quiet lately—in the studio every day trying to legit make something you’ve never heard before. Unexplored sonic landscapes. I need another month or 2 of pure unadulterated creativity at which point I will begin finishing tracks. Won’t let you down.”

Which has us freaking, since everything we’ve ever heard from Grimes has been, among other things, undeniably fresh and unprecedented. She also announced in the post that she’d been selected as part of Harper’s Bazaar’s “Icons” list, curated by Carine Roitfeld and shot by Brigitte Lacombe. She’s joined by the likes of The Weeknd, Courtney Love, and Dionne Warwick.

Take a look at Grimes’ post below:

 

 

Grimes’ last album, Art Angels, gave us some of our most important sidewalk anthems on record – like “Kill V. Maim” and “Flesh Without Blood,” both of the videos for which you can (and should) watch.

 

Grimes Has Started a Novel

According to her Instagram, Grimes is writing a novel. She explaiend last night that she “started my novel, but my editor, HANA – informs me that my first chapter needs more showing and less telling.”

Apparently, in classic Grimes fashion, a whole alternate world is being created in the pages of this book. She continued: “Too bad the people don’t want a novel comprised entirely of fake facts about a fake universe. Re-read some good intros to double check and I guess it’s best to start with a plot.”

We’re imagining a fashion thriller where everyone has five eyes and can turn into owls whenever they feel like it. But we’re not getting too excited just yet.

“This is gonna be a dang endurance test if there ever was one,” she concludes, “and don’t expect anything good for like 20-25 years.”

Take a look at the post below, and then as a special treat to yourself on this Tuesday of our Lord, watch the “Kill v. Maim” music video afterwards.

An Entire Grimes Album is Being Reworked Into a Classical Concert

Photo: @Grimes via Instagram

Grimes’ third studio album, 2012’s Visions, is being adapted into a classical concert series in Canada titled “Many Visions: Plumes Deconstructs the Music of Grimes.”

13 composers of the orchestral group Plumes will each take on a Grimes track to reinterpret in a more traditional, Beethoven-esque form.

Monica Pearce, a Plumes composer, told NOW Magazine that the concert would sound “quite different from the album.”

“We wanted to see how we could bridge the gap between popular and classical music – we have a suspicion it’s smaller than people think,” said Luke Nickel, the co-director of Winnipeg’s Cluster New Music and Integrated Arts Festival, to MusicWorks“We want to think about interpretation and rearrangement, not only in terms of musical material but also in terms of the spirit of an artist. That led us to Grimes, whose DIY attitude seems to resonate across genres.”

Get tickets for the series here.

At Last, Grimes and Janelle Monae Unveil ‘Venus Fly’ Music Video

We’ve been seeing teasers and snippits of Grimes and Janelle Monae’s collaboration video, “Venus Fly,” for days, and the suspense as we waited for it to arrive to the public has been killing us. Now, finally, it’s here, and the vid is as glorious, gooey, and bizarre as we could have ever dreamt.

This pairing of artists is the stuff of legend – both Grimes and Monae’s strange, alternative takes on style and presentation combine in “Venus Fly” to give us riot grrrl punk meets Greek goddess meets haute couture meets that scene in “Born This Way” where Gaga is covered in embryotic fluid. It’s really something special – and what’s more, the video was directed and edited by the incredibly multitalented Grimes herself.

“Venus Fly” is off of Grimes’ mose recent album Art Angels, which included such hits as Kill v. Maim and Flesh Without Blood. The video debuted on Tidal and is now available to anyone with internet on YouTube. Check it out below:

 

Grimes Launches Official Visual Art Instagram Account

Illustration by Grimes via ActuallyGrimes on Tumblr

Alt-pop princess Grimes today launched a new Instagram account dedicated entirely to visual art – her own creatinos as well as the inspired fan art she receives daily. Grimes, AKA Claire Barrow, is the mastermind who writes, produces, engineers, and performs all of her music, directs and stars in her videos, and, additionaly, she’s also published illustrations for each track on her 2015 smash album Art Angels – all of it available for viewing on her Tumblr account.

The new art account – @GrimesArtOfficial – will include original work but also “sick fan art” that has tagged the account in their post. Take a look at some of the gorgeous art already curated below:

see this actually completely intimidates me — this is soooo good . by @irving_m_art

A photo posted by GrimesArtOfficial (@grimesartofficial) on

Pixie Princess Grimes Drops a Dreamy Unreleased Gem

The past year in music has been one catered to the self-proclaimed Poptimist, seeing Carly Rae Jepsen’s critically acclaimed 80’s revival EMOTION permeate blogs and Grimes’ long-awaited return manifest into a full-length radio-contender. Though we love the pixie princess’ glossy new approach, her early surreal soundscapes still captivate us, offering a hazy, haunting tenor that’s heard on this previously unreleased gem, “Fifteen Minutes To.” Based on Grimes’ Tumblr post, this rare, short demo was “probably” created before her second full-length studio album Halfaxameaning it’s more than five years old. Listen, below, and lose yourself in her syrupy anti-pop splendor. 

 

Janelle Monáe Joins Grimes in Atlanta to Perform Their Pixie-Pop Banger ‘Venus Fly’

Photo via Instagram

Embedded in Grimes’ stunning pixie-pop LP Art Angels is “Venus Fly,” a thrashing late-night banger the 27-year-old singer invited Janelle Monáe to lend her hyper post-James Brown vocals onto. Armed with a enough energy to activate a small city, the unlikely collaboration features Monáe aggressively spitting the question, “Why you lookin’ at me?” over Grimes’ powerhouse production—a sinister effort evocative of the 2014 Blood Diamond release, “Go.”

During Grimes’ Atlanta show at the Buckhead Theatre earlier this week, “Venus Fly” came to life, blasting off as surprise guest Monáe stormed the stage to deliver, as one would expect, a standout performance. “Kitty, kitty, kitty cat, why you always talkin’ smack?” the dance android probes, flailing her limbs in a sea of technicolor strobe lights. Watch the two rev up Atlanta, below:

 

Grrrl Talk: An Interview With Kathleen Hanna on the New Documentary ‘The Punk Singer’

“I’m awesome, why don’t I deserve a movie to get made about me? I’ve worked my ass off,” said Kathleen Hanna in speaking to her initial reservations about The Punk Singer, a documentary that offers an intimate portrait of her rise to fame as a feminist icon and legendary musician. And as the a leading figure of the Riot Grrrl movement, Hanna has over two decades of groundbreaking work behind her—from the rough and angry early days of Bikini Kill to the days of Le Tigre her latest musical endeavor The Julie Ruin. In 2005, Hanna was forced to stop touring when she was diagnosed with late-stage Lyme disease, a crippling illness that left her wondering if she’d ever step on stage again. But through the eye of The Punk Singer and Hanna’s recent live appearances, its clear there’s really nothing that she can’t endure and conquer.

With the documentary—directed and producer by Sini Anderson—we’re given an deeper look into Hanna’s life that’s inspiring in both its honesty and its portrayal of a woman who has never stopped giving her work everything’s she’s got and more. Through archival footage dating back from her early days performing spoken word poetry to a small crowd to the massive audiences she now garners, The Punk Singer also features interviews from those who’ve also made a name for themselves as women of importance, both in the music scene and out, with everyone from Kim Gordon and Carrie Brownstein to Joan Jett and Tavi Gevinson. And of course, Hanna’s husband Adam (Ad-Rock of The Beastie Boys) is also featured and helps to go further inside her personal life outside the media and give a well-rounded view of the woman who remains the central figure of a movement that has been shaking up the social landscape and stimulating creative energy for years now.

A few weeks back, I got the chance to sit down with Hanna to chat about the need to tell her story, how her illness has effected the scope of her work, and how culture has changed the way we’re able to connect and progress.

So how did Sini approach you about making the documentary and did you have any reservations about doing it?
Sini asked me to do it, I think, in 2010 and I was pretty reluctant at first. And then I went home and was like, well, why not? I was sick at the time and still didn’t know what I had, and didn’t know if this would be the last chance for me to tell my story—that really played into it.  I’d always—at least in the 1990s and even in Le Tigre to a certain extent—downplayed my importance because I didn’t want to be set out from my feminist community.

I didn’t want to be a star of the thing because there were so many people that worked to make Riot Grrrl happen and to create the feminist community that I felt very much a part of, and I felt bad taking attention from other people’s projects. There were bands that were just as good as our band that didn’t get attention. And while that’s all true, I started to realize there was a component to that way of thinking that was like, scream your face off into a hot towel. Like, you know, you don’t deserve to say, “My work is valid, my work has mattered, my work is important.” But then I was like, “I’m awesome, why don’t  I deserve a movie to get made about me? I’ve worked my ass off.”

 You’ve always been so emotionally open in your music and candid in your interviews, and yet people have always misconstrued you or made generalizations that weren’t true about who you are. Did you see this documentary as another way to really expose the work you’ve done and be a way to tell your story?
It was Sini who did the interviews, and I’d know her for 15 or 20 years, and then my friend Tamm came in a crafted the story. So there was a lot of trust there. I could be as honest as I wanted to be, and then I trusted that if there was something that I absolutely didn’t want in there they would take it out. There wasn’t anything really, except that there’s a photograph of my father in the film and I felt really weird about having his face in there. They put it in and it’s their movie, but that was one thing that made me cringe— well, a lot of it made me cringe because it’s me. But I don’t want to embarrass my father, and even though we don’t speak anymore and he’s a total dick, I still don’t want to hurt him, he’s still alive. So it was hard for me to be like, god is it okay to put this photograph in here? I don’t want his friends to see it. But then I was like, none of his friends are going to see The Punk Singer. So then I thought, fuck it. But that was the hardest thing for me. And the rest of it was gravy.

For a film focused on one person—you—, it also does a really great job of opening up interest about Riot Grrrl and could be informative for those not so familiar. Was that important to you?
There’s definitely an overview of the Riot Grrrl movement and the feminist electronic music scene and that kind of stuff, but there’s two movies currently being made about Riot Grrrl—one in English and one in French, and I was already interviewed for the American one and I’ll be interviewed for the French one next month—and I felt like because I knew those movies were happening that I didn’t have to explain as much. It’s not a movie about Riot Grrrl,  it’s a movie about me and that’s okay because I was somebody who was an impetuous for Riot Grrrl.

But I was in a band and I toured a lot, so I wasn’t at every Riot grrrl meeting and I wasn’t in Minneapolis going to meetings. I went to some meetings in DC and I called the first meeting with my friend Alison, but I was much more of a cultural activist than a political activist or someone who ran meetings or anything like that. All I have is my perspective of the good things and the bad things that happened, and that will be much more in the other films. There’s an overview of that in The Punk Singer, hopefully to get people to search out more information.I remember saying to Tamara that I really wanted the stuff I said about how fucked up Riot Grrrl got and how weird things got towards the end, to be in there. And she said, it’s not about Riot Grrrl, if it was, it would be called Riot Grrrl the Movie—it’s about you. And I was like, you’re right! And I’ve done a million other things besides call that first meeting or whatever, so it’s just what I’ve been most heavily associated with.

How does it feel watching the film now and looking back on yourself from such a young age, to first finding success, and then getting sick? Is that difficult to see?
Well, I’d already seen a lot of Le Tigre stuff because there’s a Le Tigre concert movie, so I had had to watch a bunch of that—and I was sick when that was being filmed too. And if you watch it, you can actually tell because my face is a little sideways and you can see that I was really struggling during the filming of that movie. But I hadn’t seen a lot of the Bikini Kill footage and being sick watching it was really difficult. I’m excited about it now that I’m feeling so much better, but it was hard to see my younger self having so much energy and then think god, will I ever be on stage again? And you adjust, like maybe I can’t move around as much as I used to or whatever, but I think I still have a lot of energy on stage. I’ve been touring and having a lot of fun, so luckily the worst case scenario didn’t happen—but it’s freaky.

But you must look back on those days with a sense of pride as well.
The very first scene is me doing this really embarrassing spoken word that, when I  found it was online, would actually write to the people asking like, can you take that down? Because it was so embarrassing. And of course they decided to lead the movie off with it. So every single time I see it I have to be like ahhhh because it’s really intense.  I’m like, god, I can’t believe I did that, especially when it was such a male dominated scene. Just to get up and be like, “This song’s about incest,” was not cool. “Not cool, Julie!” And now it kind of is cool, and that’s awesome because it wasn’t cool in the 90s and it was really, really difficult. So I love that people like it now.

Culture has changed so much since the early 1990s, and so have the ideals of feminism. Do you find that your own views have changed a lot as well?
I’ve grown as a person, obviously, and  I have a lot of really, really great friends. And it’s not that none of us have sexism or racist or classism or any of the isms, but I hang out with a pretty great group of people. So when I encounter somebody at a show or a party who will only talk to my husband or not want to talk to me or be introduced to me, I’m always really shocked and I don’t understand. And when I hear something specifically sexist said in my presence, I don’t even get it. It’s like it goes over my head, like , wait…really? It’s like seeing a UFO now. But I know there are still people that experience that stuff like all the time and aren’t in a position to be like, woah is that a UFO? But for me, maybe I’m sheltered enough in my own little fantasy friendship land that I am really shocked when it still happens.

Rather than meetings, people can just go on the internet now as a means of connecting. You made zines, people now make tumblrs.
It’s great that there’s choices. With the internet, it’s like any tool, it can be a powerful tool for good or a powerful tool for evil.

Well, you’re able to vocalize your opinions and find people that have the same understanding as you but when you’re than open in such an anonymous and wide sphere, it’s also much easier to get it served back to you.
Typically, artists of color and female artists are going to get the most vicious, hateful comments and I think that’s really tough— especially for younger people to deal with. We didn’t have to deal with that. If people wanted to write me hate mail, they physically had to get out a piece of paper or three and write: “You’re the most horrible bitch in the world, I think you should die,” and then fold it up and put it in an envelope and write the address and put a stamp on it and walk to the mailbox. It’s like you don’t have to do that now. You can write any crazy shit and you’re totally anonymous. I knew that if somebody didn’t have a return address on the envelope to just throw it away because I knew what that was going to be. If they didn’t want me to write back they clearly weren’t my friend.

But recently, I went to see Atoms for Peace at the Barclay’s Center and on the way home I saw these girls—two of them went to the show knowing each other and the other had this t-shirt that was like “Tom York is cute” or something like that and she had homemade it and she hadn’t met the other two girls but they had met on the internet. And they were like, “Oh you’re so and so from the like Tom York appreciation club website,” and then I heard them making plans to hang out, and I was like wow, this internet thing this really does work, and when it works to create face to face meetings.

 I remember growing up and listening to your music but being really disconnected from what it all meant on a grand scale. There weren’t very many people I felt like I could share my part of that with and had I know more, would have definitely felt less alone.
Yeah and that’s what’s really nice. I didn’t grow up in New York or LA, and my mom is awesome but she read romance novels. It wasn’t like I came from this super sophisticated standpoint. I found out about punk on TV—but that’s the thing that is great about the internet, girls hook up in chat rooms. It’s a great way for people not to feel alone. I really think face to face meetings are really important and finding that one weirdo in your town is really important, even if you don’t have exactly the same musical taste.

I also still believe in the power of a good flyer at a coffee shop. Girls will come up to me at lectures and stuff, and say I want to start my own feminist club or feminist group how do I do it? And I say like go to wherever the cool coffee shop is or wherever people hang out ad just hang flyers up, just do something, anything. It’s not going to be perfect but just start it.

When you were sick and couldn’t make music and became more isolated, did that force you to turn back to your other interests and creative outlets?
Yeah, I actually started writing a TV show called Bridgett Drives the Bus with my husband when I was stuck and sitting on the couch; comedy became very important to me. So I started going to Joe’s Pub in New York and watching a lot of comedy, and this woman Bridgett Evert became very important to me because I felt like when I watched her sing a) she’s a way better technically singer than I am and I really enjoy her voice, b) but I was really able to kind of live through her. I had performed a lot, and it was really great to be able to kick back and watch other people perform. I just wanted to start writing comedy because I needed to make myself laugh.

Did that also fuel moving into The Julie Ruin?
Yeah, I remember just lying in bed having a fantasy band—and I thought this even in Le Tigre even before I was in touch with how very ill I was—like a fantasy basketball team, a fantasy band. And I kept getting sicker and sicker and like the movie, I was like, if I don’t do this now I don’t know if I’ll be able to do it later. And I always had it in my head that I’d like to do another record that was based on the same working process and hopefulness as my solo record in 1997 called Julie Ruin. So I always wanted to revise that project as something fuller; I always like those songs were just sketches of songs and they were never fully realized and I always wanted to fully realize them.

Did bringing in a band help bring those sketches to life?
Yeah and it was great because instead of having to hole up in my apartment—because I was super depressed about my band breaking up or people thinking I was the bitch from Bikini Kill and feeling alienated from my community and all the things that made me depressed in 1997—I holed up in my apartment and I made this record in 2010 or right as the movie was starting to be filmed. And that helped bring me to a place of hope; that helped me because I was like, I don’t care how sick I fucking get, I’m going to finish this record. I have to finish this record. It gave me something to look forward to, to have a well day and be able to sing. What’s funny is, I listen to the record and I don’t think I sound sick. I feel like I heard myself again for the first time in years. “That’s me! That’s me. I’m not just this sick person.” I think they had to take this quote out of the movie, but the Bob Marley quote: One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain, that was something I thought about all the time in every practice. I would go in so exhausted and just couldn’t do it and I didn’t know if anything was going to come out of my mouth when I started singing, and then I would practice for three hours and just sing and sing and sing and I was like, oh my god.

Are there any young female musicians that you’re really excited about that you feel are doing something really interesting?
I still love MIA, ever since she came out I’ve been a really big fan. I love Grimes, I like Lorde, Priests from DC, CHVRCHES. And I love Bridget Everett, she’s like my favorite all-time singer right now. I love the performance artist Erin Markey, whose also very much a feminist and Neil Medlyn whose also a feminist and performance artist. I’ve been really into downtown New York performance art and cabaret.

Will you ever do a cabaret show yourself?
When I’m 65. I’m definitely going to do an all-woman off-off-off-off-off Broadway show because my husband told me that’s what he pictured in the future. So I feel like I kind of owe it to him, maybe on his birthday I’ll just come out with my off-off-off-off-off Broadway show.

I think going to concerts started to feel like work to me, so going to see these different kinds of musical expression and performance art was like a breath of fresh air. I moved to New York so it was like, I can get into the comedy scene and the cabaret scene.