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DiscographyNav Visions2
Genesis
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Oblivion Eight
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Cover Visions
Oblivion by Grimes
from Visions
Released January 9, 2012
Length 4:12
Writer(s) Grimes
Producer(s) Grimes
Video
Grimes - Oblivion04:12

Grimes - Oblivion

Oblivion is a song by Canadian singer and songwriter Grimes from her third solo studio album Visions. It was released as a promotional single in 2012, by 4AD. The song is one of Grimes' most successful releases so far and ranked at number 38 on Australian alternative music station Triple J's Hottest 100 2012 Countdown. It was named the best song of 2012 on Pitchfork, which in 2014 also named it the best song of the decade as of August 2014[1]. It placed at number 229 on NME magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time[2].

Background

In an April interview, Grimes explained the song's true meaning: "The song is about being violently assaulted and it made me crazy for a few years. I got really paranoid walking around at night and started feeling really unsafe. The song is more about empowering myself physically amongst a masculine power, and the hate of feeling powerless, making light of masculine physical power, making it jovial and non-threatening. I took a typically violent cultural situation and made it pop and happy". Throughout, imagery depicting a dark night evokes both the actual event of the assault and her process of coping with the trauma.

Video

The music video was co-directed by Grimes and Emily Kai Bock on a "shoe string budget". It features Grimes, in a black coat and her signature pink hair, with headphones on at a sporting match with a largely male crowd. It was shot in Montréal at Olympic Stadium and at McGill University's Molson Stadium during a football game and a motocross rally, respectively. The video debuted on March 2, 2012 and shows Grimes amongst shirtless frat boys, as well as in a men's locker room surrounded by weightlifting athletes. "Art gives me an outlet where I can be aggressive in a world where I usually can't be, and part of it was asserting this abstract female power in these male-dominated arenas — the video is somewhat about objectifying men. Not in a disrespectful way, though," Grimes explained. Additionally, part of the music video took place in a convenience store[3].

In an interview with SPIN, she revealed that the song is about "going into this masculine world that is associated with sexual assault, but presented as something really welcoming and nice. The song's sort of about being — I was assaulted and I had a really hard time engaging in any types of relationship with men, because I was just so terrified of men for a while"[4].

Lyrics

I never walk about, after dark
It's my point of view
'Cause someone could break your neck
Coming up behind you, always coming and you'd never have a clue

I never look behind, all the time
I will wait forever, always looking straight
Thinking, counting, all the hours you wait

See you on a dark night
See you on a dark night
See you on a dark night
See you on a dark night

And now another clue, I would ask
If you could help me out
It's hard to understand
'Cause when you're running by yourself
It's hard to find someone to hold your hand

And now it's good to be tough on me
But I will wait forever
I need someone else to look into my eyes and tell me
Girl you know you gotta watch your health

To look into my eyes and tell me
La la la la la
To look into my eyes and tell me
La la la la la
La la la la la
La la la la la

References

  1. http://pitchfork.com/features/staff-lists/9466-the-top-200-tracks-of-2010-2014/10/
  2. http://www.nme.com/photos/the-500-greatest-songs-of-all-time-300-201/330785#/photo/72
  3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtH68PJIQLE
  4. http://www.spin.com/articles/grimes-interview-2012-big-year

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