As Grimes told Apple Music 1’s Zane Lowe in an interview that accompanied the song’s premiere, “Shinigami Eyes” was a “label executive decision song” — “Sorry. I’m just undermining the marketing strategy,” she quipped — that didn’t fit into the “space opera” narrative of her next project, a planned double album. “I actually do really like the song,” she added.
The song “Shinigami Eyes” was inspired by the cult Japanese anime and film Death Note — the song’s title is a reference to the blood-red eyes in that story — about a high school student who discovers a magical book that allows him to kill anyone whose name he writes on the pages; the Brthr-directed video doesn’t adhere too closely to the source material, but it does features Blackpink’s Jennie.
“Shinigami Eyes” follows Grimes’ Dec. 2021 single “Player of Games“; it’s unclear if either single will wind up on her next LP, a double album. “We’re thinking about maybe taking this song, a couple other songs that don’t fit on the record and doing an EP and just doing that now,” Grimes told Lowe. “Or we’ll just do it in the album, but I definitely don’t want to get caught in a situation where I’m not releasing music for a really long time.”
Grimes added of the double LP, which currently has the title Book 1, “I think I decided that the record needs to be a double album. I made a bunch of stuff and I just want to make a bunch more stuff. There’s just more kind of sonic, conceptual ideas that I think need to get done to make everything make more sense. And we kind of have two album covers and it seems like a waste to throw on one of them away.”
Elsewhere in the Lowe interview, Grimes discussed her plunge into NFTs and crypto, her stint on the singing competition Alter Ego and reiterated why she might retire eventually from making music. “The iron grasp is getting really tight,” Grimes said. “Whereas I feel like in gaming or crypto or all these other things, there’s just this excessive freedom that sort of seems to be increasing. I don’t know. Because they’re newer ideas, there’s just less of a legacy of legal chokehold.”