On Wednesday night, Grimes released her first new song since 2015’s critically acclaimed Art Angels. The new track, “We Appreciate Power,” features Hana (a longtime collaborator), and it’s slated as the first single from her forthcoming fifth album. The accompanying lyric video displays several languages and is seemingly set in a dystopian world, with the artists touting various weapons as they slowly spin.
“We Appreciate Power” is, on its head, the most aggressive single Grimes has released to date. Somewhere between power pop and straightforward industrial (with an extended bridge reminiscent of the most sweeping moments in a Final Fantasy score), it’s a distinctly 2018 take on Nine Inch Nails-esque hard-edged rock. While Art Angels saw Grimes beginning to experiment with more traditional instruments — namely guitars — after the muted, synthetic experimentation of 2012’s Visions, this is a decisive step further in the same direction.
The new song comes after a tumultuous, high profile year for the musician. In February, she took to Instagram to announce that she would not be releasing any new music “anytime soon” because “the music industry is trash.” Grimes did go on to release several collaborations working with Janelle Monáe, Poppy and Loona. She also appeared in headlines this year for her relationship with tech mogul Elon Musk. She defended Tesla’s union practices, and was apparently responsible for Musk’s brief dust-up with rapper Azealia Banks, who claimed she was trapped in his home on Instagram.
“We Appreciate Power” was announced with its album artwork on Tuesday night, along with new Grimes merch, with a heavily featured new logo.