After watching the video for the new Grimes song, My Name is Dark, several times, I think I’ve formed an opinion on it. As you know, I was a little disappointed in the way So Heavy I Fell Through the Earth abandoned the ethereal/dreamlike vibe of Art Angels in favor of a more foreboding, movie soundtrack aesthetic. However, within that context, I think My Name is Dark is a more memorable track overall.
One reason is that it’s not quite so repetitive; where So Heavy I Fell Through the Earth, both in terms of its visualization and the audio itself, felt like a looping background track, My Name is Dark feels much more like a self-contained song.
Second, I think this track has a lot more of the character that Grimes typically brings to her music. It’s a little weirder, it’s lyrically more interesting, and it overall has more dynamism. I’m still not entirely sold on the dark, foreboding aesthetic and I think I prefer the aesthetic of Art Angels, but that feels like a limiting concern; I think this new direction shows evolution. However, I still think the vibe of Art Angels is something quite special, that few other artists are creating, whereas foreboding dark tracks are much more common.
This song does a much better job, I think, of introducing the world and the characters, and in the context of hearing this song, I can more see where So Heavy I Fell Through the Earth has its place in terms of an album structure; Heavy is much more of a track 1 introduction and My Name is Dark is much more of a track 3 or 4, traditional single slot.
I quite like the music video. I like the anime and the video game interstitials (I wonder if she has to get rights approval for those short clips?), I like this “era” of Grimes aesthetic, which maintains the Japanese and the ethereal sort of modern fairy influence and stirs in a little more of that We Appreciate Power mystery and darkness.
I will say, I hope as Grimes continues to evolve, she doesn’t forget what made Art Angels special, or that Flesh Without Blood likely remains her most standout and original song overall for a reason.
Here’s the video for My Name is Dark from Grimes: