Posts Tagged ‘Be The Cowboy’

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Hailed as the new vanguard of indie rock following the breakout success of 2016’s Puberty 2, Mitski returns with her new album Be The Cowboy, via Dead Oceans Records.

Mitski’s carefully crafted songs have often been portrayed as emotionally raw, overflowing confessionals from a fevered chosen girl, but in her fifth album, Mitski introduces a persona who has been teased before but never so fully present until now a woman in control.

“For this new record, I experimented in narrative and fiction,” comments Mitski. Though she hesitates to go so far as to say she created full-on characters, she reveals she had in mind “a very controlled icy repressed woman who is starting to unravel. Because women have so little power and showing emotion is seen as weakness, this ‘character’ clings to any amount of control she can get. Still, there is something very primordial in her that is trying to find a way to get out.”

In Be The Cowboy, Mitski delves into the loneliness of being a symbol and the loneliness of being someone, how it can feel so much like being no one. Lead single “Geyser” introduces us to a woman who can’t hold it all in any more. She’s about to burst and unleash a torrent of desire and passion that has been building up inside. While recording the album with her long-time producer Patrick Hyland, the pair kept returning to “the image of someone alone on a stage, singing solo with a single spotlight trained on them in an otherwise dark room. For most of the tracks, we didn’t layer the vocals with doubles or harmonies, to achieve that campy ‘person singing alone on stage’ atmosphere.”

There is plenty of buoyant swagger on Be The Cowboy, but just as much interrogation into self-mythology. Throughout these 14 songs, the music swerves from the cheerful to the plaintive. Mournful piano ballads lead into deceptively uptempo songs. “I had been on the road for a long time, which is so isolating, and had to run my own business at the same time. A lot of this record was me not having any feelings, being completely spent but then trying to rally myself and wake up and get back to Mitski.

Mitski’s discography is a series of scrambled sonic cinematic reels spliced together by one of the most talented lyricists of our generation. Her fifth album, Be The Cowboy, is a new era for Mitski, carrying with it the same impossibly ripped-open emotional nudity that Mitski’s built her legacy upon over the past six years.

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“Nobody” is the second track from Mitski’s upcoming album Be the Cowboy, due out August 17th on Dead Oceans. Following the earlier “Geyser” which plays into her deep and breathy sound from Bury Me at Makeout Creek, “Nobody” shifts to a  funkier groove unlike her previous songs. Working with longtime producer Patrick Hyland, the track is a roller coaster of key changes that only Mitski could streamline into a dance-ready ode to loneliness.

Cymbals ready the song pushing along her signature soft and sigh prone voice. “Venus planet of love was destroyed by global warming/did its people want too much too?” she sings, the dark lyrics contrasting against the song’s deceivingly hopeful beat to emphasize humanity’s never ending capitalistic void. The song continues to swell until the chorus hits leveling out the tempo. “For most of the tracks, we didn’t layer the vocals with doubles or harmonies, to achieve that campy ‘person singing alone on stage’ atmosphere,” she has said.

The stripped down approach is magnificent, the song’s humility only making it grander. The second half of the song really exercising key changes but it never feels like its bragging. The band leaves for the second chorus then returns, slows down then picks up again, then it all trickles off into a fuzz-fueled recording of the hook. You would think a song made up of someone looping the word “nobody” over and over is doomed to fail but Mitski manages to turn kitschy into catchy without being overwrought. “I’ve been big and small and still nobody wants me,” she groans. Nobody is immune from loneliness—a candid realization we can all take comfort in.

Mitski’s “Nobody” from ‘Be The Cowboy’. Out August 17th on Dead Oceans.

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Be The Cowboy, is the much anticipated follow-up to Puberty 2, won’t be out until August 17th. But the first single “Geyser” has the sweep of an album, building from a quiet murmur to an arena-rock roar in just about two-and-a-half thrilling minutes. Mitski has hinted in interviews that Cowboy might be a departure, but “Geyser” is just as rousing as her signature song, “Your Best American Girl.”

I think this is one of my vaguest songs,” Mitski says in this conversation about her new song, “Geyser.” “Usually my songs have a narrative of some sort. But this song is all feeling.

“Geyser” is the leadoff song on her new album Be the Cowboy. And there’s nothing vague about the music — it builds with a powerful precision. Mitski has an intense desire to write songs. “I will be whatever it needs me to be. I will do whatever it needs me to do in order for me to continue to be able to make music.”

Mitski’s “Geyser” from Be The Cowboy. Out Aug 17th on Dead Oceans Records.

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Among the best albums of 2016 was singer songwriter Mitski, She has now announced her fifth studio LP, “Be The Cowboy”, out on August. 17th via Dead Oceans Records. The acclaimed indie rock singer-songwriter has also shared a video for lead single “Geyser,” directed by Zia Anger.

Whereas Mitski’s previous work has been characterized as emotionally raw and confessional, Be The Cowboy,  recorded with her long-time producer Patrick Hyland, “introduces a persona who has been teased before but never so fully present until now a woman in control,” per a press release.

Mitski herself explains, “For this new record, I experimented in narrative and fiction,” creating characters including “a very controlled icy repressed woman who is starting to unravel. Because women have so little power and showing emotion is seen as weakness, this ‘character’ clings to any amount of control she can get. Still, there is something very primordial in her that is trying to find a way to get out.”

As for how “Geyser” fits into that narrative, the album opener “introduces us to a woman who can’t hold it all in any more. She’s about to burst and unleash a torrent of desire and passion that has been building up inside.” Anger’s cathartic visual accompaniment finds Mitski alone on a secluded beach under gray skies, beginning with thrumming synths and exploding in sound at its halfway point, as the singer takes off running down the shore.

“I had been on the road for a long time, which is so isolating, and had to run my own
business at the same time,” says Mitski. “A lot of this record was me not having any feelings, being completely spent but then trying to rally myself and wake up and get back to Mitski.”

Mitski’s “Geyser” from Be The Cowboy. Out Aug 17th on Dead Oceans Records.