Grimes’ obsession with artificial intelligence goes way back. In 2018, the musician dropped “We Appreciate Power”, a hard-hitting industrial rock song written from the perspective of a pro-AI girl group. In 2020, she followed this up with an AI lullaby to help her five-month old baby, X AE A-XII, get to sleep. Then, in July, she announced that her next album will be a space opera about a lesbian AI romanceandjoined the judging panel of the avatar-based singing competition, Alter Ego. Now, naturally, she’s launching an AI girl group called NPC, who are set to make their debut tomorrow (November 12).
The band’s first foray into the music world is as featured artists on DJ Chris Lake’s track, “Love is a Drug from God”, which Grimes teased on Instagram back in May. Yesterday (November 10), Lake shared another snippet of himself playing the song live.
While Grimes hasn’t confirmed the meaning behind the name NPC, it’s likely a reference to the acronym for ‘non-player characters’ – a video game character not controlled by a player or an AI. In recent years, however, the term has been weaponised by 4chan trolls as a meme that attempts to “own the libs” by suggesting they don’t think for themselves.
On November 4, Grimes first announced the release date for “Love is a Drug from God”, and revealed that press shots of the band aren’t ready yet because “we’re stuck on making their faces”.
Expanding on this yesterday, the musician added: “We’re super behind on everything and you’ll all see why in a month or so, so I apologise abt delays of music and visuals. Gna be catching up on the girls visual development and whatnot – but me and @chrislake just needed to get this song out cuz it’s been going so hard at festivals!!!!”
Listen to a snippet of the track below, and pre-save it to your chosen streaming service here.