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  • Writer's pictureMasha

rip grimes, you would've loved grimes

My brilliant, tik-tok literate 14 year old sister had to explain this phrase to me. Every person under 25 riding in my minivan for the first time says it.

My name is Masha, and I’m one of the fortunate few in Atlanta with a ten-minute commute. That’s the time of one-fifth an album. With a five-day workweek, I cycle through all of Canadian-born electronic-pop (?) artist Grimes’s albums Art Angels or Visions twice a week.

I am 23, therefore an old hag recently denied her student-discounted Spotify. I am a selective cheapskate and 10 dollars a month for Adult Spotify was too much. Free Spotify is ad-saturated and unusable. The library has CDs for free<3 and my 12-year old van still has a CD player. So with my Spotify subscription canceled, for a month and a half now, I’ve been switching exclusively between my Dekalb County Public Library discs of Art Angels and Visions.

I am not new to Grimes. I grew up on peak-indie-era Tumblr and stayed up late in middle school inspecting pics of her wild-haired DJ sets. On the school bus, my MP3 player was plugged in to Oblivion. As a teenager, Art Angels blasted me through the gym on the peaks and troughs of my various fitness eras. But for like three years, I couldn’t touch Grimes. Because of course, as my sister explained, Rip grimes you would’ve loved grimes refers mostly to her relationship with my mortal enemy Elon Musk and the subsequent decline in the perceived quality of Grimes’s art/public persona.

I am not doing well with this piece as an introduction. So, Hi! My full legal name is Mariya Alexeevna Kurbatova. Maroon is my favorite color. My sister is my favorite person. I once was so deeply self-conscious about any gaps in my knowledge that I forced myself through every genre of music until most artists sounded like noise, only to find that I developed the most basic-bitch taste because Spotify algorithms feed everyone in my demographic the same stuff and also all my favorite musicians made mere pennies off my listening. I work in a bookstore. I’ve seen a Tesla Cybertruck only once on the way to work. It was like spotting the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile in the wild, except instead of being fun and whimsical, it made me sad and scared.

So, Grimes: every pop culture critic has already written their hot take on her transition from an edgy teen quoting Stalin in her yearbook to the mother of a billionaire’s children. She embodies a tragic archetype of indie artist sanded down to something corporate, of radical politics seduced by neoliberalism (?? like maybe?? Was she ever that based to begin with?). It feels mythological, this elfen weirdo pop princess in cahoots with the cartoonish space-conquering rich internet guy. Their dramatic, legalistic falling out adds to the theater.

Another thing: every person under 25 riding in my minivan for the first time comments that they love her music (but only the old stuff). Obviously, I agree. Visions is loopy and haunting; Art Angels is a big syringe of adrenaline to the heart. Those songs are like the best girl sci fi stories (Izumi Suzuki!), like being 16 and too high and scared and alone in your bedroom plastered in glow-in-the dark stars, like being a middle-schooler spiking her brain chemistry with late night internet exploring. Those who grew up online have long been charmed by her siren song, and, from what I hear, she’s now making the rounds with the youth on tik-tok.

The appeal of archetypes is in understandable characters with which to play out your personal dramas, to watch your innermost glorious and tragic narratives projected outside of you with a satisfying resolution. As I share more and more of my identity as an artist, I worry about perception (cool or corny?), about the politics present in all our creation (and how market forces shape them), about the allure of powerful men, of media oversaturation and how that affects both my own work and the ecosystem it exists in. Grimes to me is genius, if only in art, but now more myth than person, all my most feared and favored archetypes embodied. She is also my favorite musician for now, so that’s like another fun fact about me.

Also: I am beyond excited to intern with Hot Literati. Let’s make some cool stuff :)

1 commentaire

28 juin

thinking about how in a strange way this ties back 2 recog summer because of who the billionaire is

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