Track Review – SCREAM / Grimes ft. Aristophanes

Mere days after ‘Flesh Without Blood’ and its more experimental sister, ‘Life In the Vivid Dream’ drops, Grimes has followed up with ‘SCREAM’. It’s a completely different track, though this was expected after Grimes tweeted that ‘Flesh Without Blood’s sound was not the ‘sound’ of the album. In fact, ‘SCREAM’ is the exact opposite, in that it’s experimental, dark and takes influence from many different genres such as rap, electronic and weird experimental music that doesn’t really have a name – not yet anyway. The most interesting point of the track is the inclusion of Aristophanes, a Taiwanese rapper on the verses and Grimes screaming on the chorus.

Aristophanes’ verses are in mandarin, but through some translation it becomes apparent she’s very much in Grimes’ universe with lyrics about ‘A woman pulls out the headful of black hair with her bare hands / walks along the mountain ridges in a dream’ and ‘My fingers created a cold lake’. If you take a look at Grimes’ translation the song is very explicitly sexual, something that Grimes has always looked at through a yearning but also skepticism (see the difference between ‘Skin’ and ‘Oblivion’), but Aristophanes’ perspective is dark and dominating. Grimes’ screams in the chorus are heavily effected and hardly sound like her, but the point of the track isn’t to be anything recognisable from what you expect, but to offer something new. It’s not going to be the next Grimes single by any stretch of the imagination, but for those still thinking that Grimes might save them from chillwave purgatory, it might be a comfortable (if slightly short) slice of experimental electronica.