Last year, right around the same time Beyoncé released her show-stopping, game-changing self-titled, the prodigious female electronic artist Grimes (much to my simultaneous elation and chagrin) signed to Jay Z‘s Roc Nation. I was immediately distressed by news, by the possibility that Roc Nation’s aesthetic would ultimately taint Grimes‘ stalwart sense of ethics. But this worry was quickly conflated with another, more domineering thought: What if Grimes produced for Beyoncé??? The realist in me thinks that will probably never happen. But Grimes‘ new track, breaking a lengthy hiatus after the release of her much-loved breakthrough Visions, is–at least for now– the closest we might get to this deluded, albeit awesome, fantasy.
The track “Go,” a collaboration between Grimes‘ best friend and frequent musical cohort Blood Diamonds (shout-out at the one-minute fifteen mark), was originally written for Rihanna–but rejected. It’s almost difficult to imagine Rihanna’s wavering, velvety vibrato over this harrowing and emotionally riveting banger. Grimes’ own vocal timbre confronts an unfamiliar terrain, where her wispy, cooing head voice is ignored for a fully-formed, bursting-from-the-bottom-of-her-stomach siren yelp on par with the electrifying dubstep madness below. I saw Grimes debut the track at this year’s Governor’s Ball, and the sheer awesomeness of this new, unprecedented direction had my head reeling and my eyes wigging. Do yourself a solid and download the .Wav file of “Go” on Grimes‘ Soundcloud. It’s kick-ass.