No one want to feel guilty looking at polar bears. The future is obviously safe in the hands of the artist who now calls herself c
It is written into celebrity lore that the reason the boyband Blue never made it in the US isnt because it looked as if the smouldering line-up of Lee Ryan, Duncan James and Simon Webbe were being forced to hang out with Antony Costa because their mums were all friends with his mum. The real reason is quite different: in the wake of the 9/11 attacks in a lets-break-America-with-our-wholesome-brand-of-banter interview Ryan went off-piste and said: This New York thing is being blown out of proportion. What about whales? They are ignoring animals that are more important. Animals need saving and thats more important. And lo: record contract revoked, tail-between-their-legs flight back to Britain, now the fragmented shards of Blue are the face of the home improvement company Ideal Boilers.
Before we analyse whether Ryan was right all along and might be an underappreciated intellect-cum-soothsayer (whales are important! Hes right!) (But! With! Caveats!), I want to visit this quote from Grimes, the poptronica, Pitchfork-approved musician who granted a rare interview to the Wall Street Journal this week. I want to make climate change fun, she said, describing the theme of her upcoming concept album, Miss Anthropocene. People dont care about it, because were being guilted. I see the polar bear and want to kill myself. No one wants to look at it, you know? I want to make a reason to look at it. I want to make it beautiful. Now read Ryans one about whales, then Grimess bit about the polar bears again. Oscillate between them. Here is my theory: this is the same quote, tumbled out of different mouths.
Yes, Grimes is back, and as she insists to the WSJ she wants to be known as c now (lower-case artists own, italics artists own). Grimes is a curious beast because she spent almost a decade in the indie pop backwaters very much beloved by, how to say this, men who wear glasses and make playlists for a hobby, but not exactly known by anyone outside those one-craft-beer-then-home circles. Then, last year, she went to the Met Gala with Elon Musk a billionaire whose legacy is either going to be the guy who ended death or that guy who tried to eat the moon and now she and he have broken through into power couple mainstream.
This seems to sit uneasily on c how do you enter a legitimate album cycle when your career to date has been eclipsed by Azealia Banks calling you a brittleboned meth-head who smells like a roll of nickels? How can anyone take you seriously as an artist when your fanbase has recently been flooded with the sort of lads who write Pickle Rick under their religious beliefs section on application forms? The strategy so far seems to be: affect the demeanour of a 2003-era MSN Messenger status come to life. This is how we end up, here, with c earnestly suggesting we recast climate change as banter, something I can only imagine ends in doom for us all.
Further highlights: c says the albums central beautiful love song was inspired by watching the trailer for the movie Assassins Creed (36%, Rotten Tomatoes); that the interstitial persona of c is part of the world-building central to her career, like JRR Tolkien or George RR Martin (Game of Thrones, of course, very famously lenient on new-world kings who hoard excessive wealth and they rarely get stabbed to death or get poisoned or go mad at all); the sheer mladyness of Musks emailed quote about his girlfriend, sent to the WSJ: I love cs wild fae artistic creativity and hyper intense work ethic. At times it feels as if the Wall Street Journal gave up interviewing Grimes and instead talked to the nearest goth girl they could find smoking on a low wall behind some school tennis courts, wearing spidery fingerless gloves and lamenting the low grade they got at AS-level art.
Finally, c hints at her nascent plans to murder the alter ego of Grimes in some extravagant way in the not too distant future. It will be a public execution, she says coyly, followed by by something else. I shouldnt say yet. What? Blow back so hard she explodes? A Doritos-and-watching-Queen-of-the-Damned-on-DVD session that lasts so long everyone involved expires? Absinthe overdose? Its hard to know what the most AOL chat room-goth way of executing someone is, but be assured c will find it. Until then, and until climate change inevitably becomes fun, remember this: Grimes is just what would happen if Lee Ryan had access to a billionaire. A shuddering thought.