Last June, Grimes took to Discord to tease a new song called “Shinigami Eyes,” which references both Death Note and her 2019 put-on about getting experimental eye surgery. Today, “Shinigami Eyes” has finally arrived. It’s billed as Chapter 1 of her new album Book 1, and it arrives with one of her typically elaborate music videos. Grimes wrote the video, which was directed by BRTHR (the duo of Alex Lee and Kyle Wightman) and features Jennie Kim from BLACKPINK, Dorian Electra, and experimental fashion Instagram star Ryon Wu. A press release indicates “Shinigami Eyes” will appear on an EP called Fairies Cum First to be released before Book 1.
Grimes did an interview about “Shinigami Eyes” with Apple Music 1’s Zane Lowe, in which she called it “the label executive decision song.” She elaborates, “Basically, I wrote the whole space opera thing and this is the only song that wasn’t this big narrative plot.” She also announced that Book 1 has expanded into a double album: ” made a bunch of stuff and I just want to make a bunch more stuff. There’s just more kind of sonic, conceptual ideas that I think need to get done to make everything make more sense. And we kind of have two album covers and it seems like a waste to throw on one of them away.” She also sung the praises of fan fiction and compared the process of choosing collaborators to fantasy football. And, oh yeah, there is this about her plans to go indie again when her contract with Columbia is fulfilled:
The reason I [signed to a major] is because I wanted more resources to make visual art. But, in retrospect I think the industry is too kind of slow, ultimately for me to stay in the system this way. I will definitely a hundred percent go independent after this and I will never sign to a label again. And that’s not to say… Columbia’s actually been really amazing. It’s funny because I did that NFT thing literally days before I signed to Columbia and I didn’t think… That was before NFT’s were popping and I did not think that would be a big deal. I was like, oh, we might make like 5K, 10K. That would be super sweet. That has enabled me to probably be independent now. And because I want to start doing more interesting stuff. I really care about changing the business and I feel like I’m in a good position now with my team to start trying to do stuff. Not having any copyright, not having any take downs on my music and all that kind of stuff. As soon as I’m done with Columbia, that’s definitely something that I really care about and also finding ways to innovate within that.
In other Grimes news, she is partnering with Rocket League, the video game in which vehicles play soccer, for an in-game event called Neon Nights featuring “exciting Challenges, Golden Moons, a chaotic LTM, and unlockable Items featuring the immortal space princess GRIMES.” This seems to have something to do with Book 1, which Grimes has previously described as a space opera about lesbian AI. Rocket League‘s announcement continues, “In collaboration with GRIMES’ upcoming space opera, a super-intelligent deep space AI will begin transmitting Challenges directly into your life-sim, allowing you to unlock GRIMES-themed items. If our calculations are correct, they should arrive on Earth Wednesday, Jan. 26 at 9 a.m. PST (5 p.m. UTC)!”
Hey, that’s right now! Does this Rocket League business correlate with the “Shinigami Eyes” video somehow? I guess gamers are about to find out. Grimes will be on Rocket League‘s first ever Instagram Live with the Twitch streamer Athena today at 10AM PT, so check that out here and maybe all these promotional tie-ins will come into focus. In the meantime, the music video is ready to view below.
Fairies Cum First and Book 1 will presumably be out this year on Columbia.