There is perhaps no other artist on the cutting edge of style and sound in music than Grimes. She is waif-like in voice and intense in content — a fascinating combination that answers the question of what Kate Bush would sound like if she sang for Nine Inch Nails. Grimes’ latest single and music video, “Shinigami Eyes,” continues her tradition of genre-blending, boundary-pushing music in both lyrics and visuals. And now, in a new episode of Vevo Footnotes, she explains just how she accomplished such a mind-trip of a music video:

“Shinigami Eyes” is a track that takes listeners on a high wave of EDM, nu-metal and pop. Its lyrics include allusions to Alice in Wonderland (“I’m the queen on the chess board / And the red upon the rose”) and homages to Victorian poetry (“And young men’s love doth lie / Never in their hearts”). Yet according to Grimes, the basis for the song and video are actually quite simple:

“I love the record, but everyone’s like, what’s the deeper meaning? And it’s like, well, Nino Angelo just really had just watched Death Note and really liked it … Basically, I wrote the whole space opera thing and this is the only song that wasn’t this big narrative plot.”

As such, the music video reflects the song’s operatic, anime-inspired tone, complete with the full use of an XR Stage — similar to what was used in Disney+’s The Mandalorian. The techniques explored in the Vevo Footnotes episode about “Shinigami Eyes” show how the effects were all basically captured in real-time — offering insight into how the technology for music videos has advanced so far from the 1980’s, and how we’ve yet to unleash the full potential of storytelling that such visuals provide.

Always at the forefront of music evolution, Grimes proves yet again that she isn’t afraid to experiment and try new things — showing us the way her mind works in the process. Grimes’ new EP, Fairies Cum First, is due sometime later this year. In the meantime, you can watch and listen to “Shinigami Eyes” below!

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