Grimes Speaks on Being Torn Between Pop and Experimental


Grimes’ long-awaited follow-up to Visions is due for release sometime this fall (possibly in October, even), but we still don’t have a whole lot of concrete details. We’ve had a few throwaways like “REALiTi,” and “Go,” but nothing that gives a real idea of what the album will actually sound like. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Grimes has finally offered up some more details (although nothing specific) about the upcoming and currently untitled album.

In the interview she shares some information regarding some samples used for some of the tracks (“They’re Japanese compilations from the ’80s and shit”), as well as new processes she’s employed for the record. Speaking of her distaste for “REALiTi,” she said she’s remade it and that she’s “considering putting it on the record.” After re-producing it for her live show, she’s thinking about putting it on the album thanks to popular demand, even though she says she doesn’t “really like it,” and that it’s a “lazy song” that she wrote in 20 minutes.

“I hate ‘Oblivion’ too,” she continued, before mentioning that all the songs that are the singles are usually the songs that she hates. “I know that if I don’t like it and everyone else likes it, then it’s probably a single.” She also spoke about how the album includes a plethora of alter-egos, including a “vampire mobster character.” She doesn’t know how to describe the albums sound, but she’s still very much “concerned with delivering.”

“I feel like if I’m going to ask people to buy something it has to be good,” even though she says she’s “not concerned whether or not it’s this or that.” When she initially put out Visions, she was called a sell-out, if only because she’s stuck between an “experimental scene and a pop scene.” She says that “everyone is always mad when I give lip service to one or the other. If I make stuff that’s too weird, people complain. Then if I make stuff that’s too pop, other people complain. This album is two halves. it’s very structured like that. If you’re going to complain about one-half, then you have the other half.”

Whether or not she’ll deliver on the promise of maintaining that balance of experimental and pop that she knows for remains to be seen, but judging from what she says it’ll interesting at the very least. Check out a few more quotes below, and read the whole interview here.

On incorporating new sounds and instruments:

There are lots of violins on this record, but they’re the most doctored, looped violins of all time. They’re Auto-Tuned. I learned about different kinds of producing working with friends. I learned about different types of drums like 808s, different types of hardware and percussion and that kind of thing.

On working with collaborators on the new album:

I wanted people who write their own stuff but can execute a pop track. In the cases where I have vocalists, it’s like tracks that are maybe more rhythmic and less melodic information. I can’t rap! I tried rapping in Dothraki and it didn’t work. I was really proud of the beats. So I wanted to try to find cool people who would want to participate. I’d trade them a song, not like paying somebody. Someone who honestly wants to collaborate. Then I’ll make them a beat or do a vocal feature or something later.