Grimes is back with another new single called “Shinigami Eyes.” It’s set to appear on an EP titled Fairies Cum First, which serves as a prelude to her upcoming album, Book 1. The song’s video features Jennie Kim from BLACKPINK, Dorian Electra, and Instagram influencer Ryon Wu, and is directed by BRTHR. Check it out below.
“Shinigami Eyes” naturally centers on a steady, club-ready beat, but in its hook, Grimes goes for a mild-mannered chant instead of her usual high-pitched squeak. “Are you ready to die on my Shinigami Eyes?” she intones. As Grimes confirmed in an interview with Apple Music, it’s a reference to the manga Death Note, in which people with Shinigami Eyes can see people’s names and lifespans. But she also said more than perhaps she should.
“Well, actually, OK, so this song, I’m not sure what I should say or not say. I always say a bunch of stupid shit and get in trouble, but either way. This is the label executive decision song,” she told Zane Lowe. “I love the record, but it’s just like, 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. This is the label executive decision song. Sorry. I’m just undermining the marketing strategy.”
She also added that Book 1 had expanded to a double album after she “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.”
Finally, Grimes went into her plans to wash her hands of major labels. “The reason I [signed to a major] is because I wanted more resources to make visual art,” she said. “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.”
Grimes previewed “Shinigami Eyes” back in the summer, when she played a minute-long clip of the song during a Discord livestream. She announced Book 1, meanwhile, in December, when she shared the single “Player of Games.” Since then, she’s hyped up the album by saying she would switch “day jobs” after its release, and announced a 10th anniversary vinyl reissue of her breakout LP Visions.