Grimes, also known as Claire Boucher or simply “c,” released a new single, “Player of Games” this past Friday. “Player of Games” is the first official song off her upcoming album Book 1. For over a year now, Grimes has teased her next project as an epic lesbian space opera about the tumultuous relationship between artificial courtesan CLAIRE DE LUNE and a demonic superintelligence. This is a concept that would seem way too “out there” for most artists, but for Grimes specifically, it may actually hit pretty close to home.
“Player of Games” is Grimes’ first return to music after her highly-publicized split from tech billionaire and Tesla CEO, Elon Musk back in September. The widespread public scrutiny of Grimes and Musk’s relationship led to the dream-pop singer recently posting a TikTok about the anxiety caused by internet culture. In the video, Grimes says that she has, “Somehow ended up as some kind of Marie Antoinette-esque symbol for inequality in the pop stan community.” She continues, “Which frankly is fairly entertaining and I’m not mad at that.”
In her new song, Grimes tells the story of a failed relationship where one partner couldn’t hold onto their loved one because they were far more committed to exploring “the cold expanse of space” and becoming the ultimate “player of games.” Hmm…sounds very SpaceX.
The song has a more electronic and techno sound than Grimes 2020 album Miss Anthropocene, with a dance-club beat that may have been influenced by co-producer Illangelo. Illangelo is best known as a long-time collaborator of The Weeknd and helped create the dark pop/hip-hop sounds of The Weeknd’s critically acclaimed After Hours album.
If this song is anything to go off of, Grimes’ Book 1 era will infuse sci-fi-inspired lyrics with an EDM sound that feels like a throwback to the 2010s rave pop trend. While many people may not be able to relate to the specific pains of a man leaving you for his space empire, the infectious beat and references to gamer culture have struck a cultural chord.
The track is featured in the new season of the video game Rocket League. Many listeners have also pointed out that the song title may be Grimes referencing the 1980s science fiction novel The Player of Games by Iain M. Banks. The book has been cited as a favorite of Elon Musk’s as well as another famous billionaire, Mark Zukerberg.
As the name implies, Book 1 is just the start of Grimes latest adventure into new musical exploration, and we’re excited to see where this journey takes her next.
Featured Image: Bryan Huynh