Go

Album: Single Release Only (2014)

Songfacts®:

  • Grimes originally penned this song for Rihanna, but it was turned down. Both Rihanna and Grimes are signed to Jay Z's Roc Nation management.
  • Grimes wrote the song with Vancouver producer Blood Diamonds. It was their second collaboration, as the pair had previously linked up on 2012's "Phone Sex."
  • Having been rejected by Rihanna, Grimes decided to release the tune herself, making it available to download for for free from her website at Grimesmusic.com. Speaking about the song, the Canadian singer-songwriter commented: "It's our summer jam so we figured we should put it out cuz I am very bored of waiting to finish my album before releasing new music haha."
  • The song was premiered live by Grimes at Governors Ball festival in New York on June 7, 2014. alongside two other new tunes.
  • The song's music video was directed by Grimes with her brother Mac Boucher. The clip represents her take on the Divine Comedy and opens with a reading from Dante's 14th century epic poem by screenwriter David Hayter (X-Men, X2, Watchmen).

    Blood Diamonds (aka Mike Tucker) plays Virgil and Grimes Dante. "In the inferno, people's actions in life echo eternally. Mike (Virgil) and I (Dante) wander through the circles of hell. The circles of hell reflect more contemporary issues though," she said. "We shot a bunch at the Salton Sea (in California), which is basically an apocalyptic wasteland filled with dead fish because of human carelessness, the bullet hole hallway a la Korn Freak on a Leash etc etc. If you look closely you can find clues. Haha, but in the usual fashion it is also abstract enough to just be a trippy visual accompaniment to the song."

    The Divine Comedy, an imaginary journey through Hell, Purgatory and Paradise, is generally considered the greatest poem of the Middle Ages. Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) only completed it a few months before his death. Dante's Inferno comprises the first movement of the Divine Comedy and describes the nine circles of the hell where the sins and punishments get worse the further down you go.
  • Grimes scrapped all the initial recordings for her follow up to 2012 album Visions, citing the mixed response to this song as a factor in that decision. She told the New York Times: "It upset a lot of my fans, and I get why it upset them. Everybody was like, 'Oh, Grimes is pandering to the radio.'"

    Grimes later clarified the scrapping of the album saying she ditched the music she was making as she could not face touring the "depressing" songs around the world and not because of the reception to this song. "I honestly never ditched an album due to negative fan reaction to 'Go'", she wrote on her Tumblr blog . "'Go' did really well, in my opinion. Obviously some people didn't like it, as it was different from my other material, but isn't that the point of collaborations / trying to write for other artists? ... The album was scrapped cuz it was depressing and I didn't want to tour it. I may release it one day. This all happened before 'Go' was ever released."

    Grimes added that scrapping music isn't an uncommon part of her creative process, continuing: "I may release it one day. I throw out music all the time, I have almost 1000 gigs of unreleased music on my hard drive. I just want the next album to be as good as possible."

    "'Go' was never on the album anyway, it is a collaboration with a close friend that was released for fans as a 'Thank you' for waiting since my album was being delayed."
  • This was featured in a 2015 episode of the TV series Orphan Black.

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