It’s unclear to what extent NPC depends on Artificial Intelligence; Grimes’ voice is heard singing on “A Drug from God,” and she and Lake are credited as the composers and lyricists alongside two other human collaborators. But she clearly has grand ambitions for the project.
“We’re stuck on making their faces so we don’t have pics yet,” the pop star said on Instagram, insinuating the group is comprised of AI avatars rather than human collaborators. A press release further explained that NPC is a vehicle for Grimes to “create as other people in order to reduce the psychic pain of being in the public eye.”
Whatever the case, NPC’s debut has got some legs. Notes chime out from Lake’s keyboards with increasing alarm as Grimes repeats the song’s hook: “Money, power, beauty, fame/ Choose your weapon to beat the game/ Money is power and art is fraud/ And love is just a drug from God.” Once the beat drops, an infectious bass line takes the vocalist’s place.
Grimes and Lake produced the track together a while back, and Lake first debuted it during a live performance in May. Six months ago, Grimes shared a snippet of the performance on Instagram, asking fans, “Shud we release this?” On November 11th, she added in a new post that while she’ll be “catching up on the girls visual development and whatnot,” she ultimately decided to hurry the track into the world, saying, “me and @chrislake just needed to get this song out cuz it’s been going so hard at festivals!!!!” Stream the track below.
The creation of NPC is just the latest adventure in technology for Grimes. Back in July, the experimental artist said her next album would be a “space opera” about two artificial intelligences that “fall into a lesbian romance.” She’s also recently taken to social media to tease the new songs “LOVE” and “Tragedy,” though it’s unclear if the songs will be included on said opera. Last month, she trolled paparazzi with a Karl Marx photoshoot.
Artificial Intelligence has long been one of Grimes’ preoccupations. Over the summer, she said that “AI is the fastest path to communism,” though she didn’t seem clear on what communism is. Before that, she dropped lullaby music created with artificial intelligence.