Posts Tagged ‘Mitski’

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Singer Songwriter Mitski has released another track from her forthcoming LP “Laurel Hell”. It’s called “Heat Lightning,” and it arrives with an animated lyric video created by Alex Moy..

“Laurel Hell” is out February 4th via Dead Oceans Records. The follow-up to Mitski’s 2018 album “Be the Cowboy” includes the previously shared singles “Working for the Knife” and “The Only Heartbreaker.” Mitski recorded her upcoming LP with her long time producer Patrick Hyland. She will set out on a sold out tour in support of “Laurel Hell” early next year.

We don’t typically look to pop albums to answer our cultural moment, let alone to meet the soul hunger left in the wake of global catastrophe. But occasionally, an artist proves the form more malleable and capacious than we knew. With “Laurel Hell”, Mitski cements her reputation as an artist in possession of such power – capable of using her talent to perform the alchemy that turns our most savage and alienated experiences into the very elixir that cures them. Her critically beloved last album, “Be the Cowboy“, built on the breakout acclaim of 2016’s “Puberty 2” and launched her from cult favourite to indie star. She ascended amid a fever of national division, and the grind of touring and pitfalls of increased visibility influenced her music as much as her spirit. Like the mountain laurels for this new album is named, public perception, like the intoxicating prism of the internet, can offer an alluring façade that obscures a deadly trap—one that tightens the more you struggle. Exhausted by this warped mirror, and our addiction to false binaries, she began writing songs that stripped away the masks and revealed the complex and often contradictory realities behind them. She wrote many of these songs during or before 2018, while the album finished mixing in May 2021.

It is the longest span of time Mitski has ever spent on a record, and a process that concluded amid a radically changed world. Recorded throughout the isolation of a global pandemic, during which some of the songs “slowly took on new forms and meanings, like seed to flower.” Sometimes it’s hard to see the change when you’re the agent of it, but for the lucky rest of us, Mitski has written a soundtrack for transformation, a map to the place where vulnerability and resilience, sorrow and delight, error and transcendence can all sit within our humanity, can all be seen as worthy of acknowledgment, and ultimately, love.

CD variants: There are four limited edition alternate versions of Laurel Hell: the Stay Soft Get Eaten CDs. Each edition makes up one quadrant of a greater image so that when all four are put together, one cohesive exclusive image of Mitski appears. Each edition is named after a line from the hook of the album’s third track “Stay Soft”: “STAY Version,” “SOFT Version,” “GET Version,” and “EATEN Version.” These are signified by the version titles being in the corner of each slipcover.

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If we thought Mitski’s “Working for the Knife” video provided a dramatic return for the songwriter, who took a brief hiatus following the release of 2018’s overwhelmingly acclaimed LP “Be the Cowboy“, nothing could have really prepared us for the level of drama compressed into the three-and-a-half minute visual for the follow-up single “The Only Heartbreaker.” In addition to arriving with the news of a new LP called “Laurel Hell” that’s slated for release in early 2022, and to introducing a heavy new wave vibe to the release, the “Heartbreaker” visual sees Mitski continuing to interpretive dance to her new music as the fantasy planet she inhabits—Laurel Hell?—goes up in flames.

According to Mitski, the song addresses “the person always messing up in the relationship, the designated Bad Guy who gets the blame. It could simply be about that, but I also wanted to depict something sadder beneath the surface, that maybe the reason you’re always the one making mistakes is because you’re the only one trying.”

“The worst pain I’ve experienced is when I’ve fully understood the pain I’ve caused another,” adds Maegan Houang, who co-directed the visual with Jeff Desom. “It’s one of the hardest parts of being human, that no matter our intentions, we’ll inevitably do something hurtful to our fellow man, if not someone we love. In this case, the harm Mitski enacts in the video is to the world. It’s unstoppable and destructive, but worst of all, she doesn’t even want it to happen. She’s a stand-in for humanity as we collectively do so little to save ourselves and our planet.”

“The Only Heartbreaker” the new song by Mitski from the forthcoming album ‘Laurel Hell’, out February 4th 2022 on Dead Oceans Records.

MITSKI – ” Working For The Knife “

Posted: October 29, 2021 in MUSIC

Mitski makes a daring return with “Working for the Knife,” a new single/video and the announcement of a spring 2022 North American tour. “Working for the Knife” surges with synth and a syncopated beat, driven by Mitski’s tenor and production by longtime collaborator Patrick Hyland. “It’s about going from being a kid with a dream, to a grown up with a job, and feeling that somewhere along the way you got left behind. It’s being confronted with a world that doesn’t seem to recognize your humanity, and seeing no way out of it,” explains Mitski.

The video, filmed at The Egg in Albany, NY and directed by Zia Anger with Ashley Connor directing photography, presents a performer returning to the same cruel world that gave birth to her. Mitski’s dedication to both sonic and physical presentation is on full display — every muscle is activated and purposeful, giving itself over to the story of the choreography. It’s dynamic and gritty with a new intensity we haven’t yet seen from Mitski.

“Working for the Knife” the new song by Mitski out now on Dead Oceans.

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The Turning? A bit of a disappointment as a movie. But Its original soundtrack? A pleasant surprise. Then again, perhaps its quality should have been expected; after all, a guestlist that includes Courtney Love, Girl in Red, Mitski, Soccer Mommy and many more is bound to please. Of particular note, Mitski’s ominous, brooding “Cop Car” is a dastardly effective horror movie scene-setter, and the return of St. Louis punk rockers Living Things on the Sunflower Bean-assisted “Take No Prisoners,” their first release in over a decade, is a howling good time.

Music used in the movie The Turning, not featured on the Original Soundtrack and includes a brand new, unreleased song by David Bowie: American Landfill feat. Kristeen Young, and an acoustic version of Mother by Courtney Love, and also includes a song by The Aubreys, featuring Stranger Things actor Finn Wolfhard.

The official audio of “Cop Car” by Mitski from “The Turning (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)”

Living Things- Take No Prisoners Feat Sunflower Bean from “The Turning” OST out now on KRO/Sony Masterworks  Official audio

The official soundtrack for the Floria Sigismondi (The Runaways, Handmaid’s Tale) directed film The Turning. Produced by Los Angeles singer / songwriter Lawrence Rothman and producer Yves Rothman, the soundtrack features a dumb founding amount of revered artists, including Courtney Love, Mitski, Soccer Mommy, Empress Of, Vagabon, Warpaint, Cherry Glazerr, Kali Uchis, Alice Glass, Girl in Red, Muna, The Aubreys etc.

Mitski, July 2017 (Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images for Panorama)

Mitski has shared a new song from the soundtrack to Floria Sigismondi’s horror movie “The Turning”. Her contribution is titled “Cop Car.” Sinister and piercing, with a heavy lilt of Puberty 2 grunge — if you need a “guitar-based but cinematic” song about the unraveling of a woman’s mind, who else are you going to call?

“Cop Car” is Mitski’s first release of new music since her critically acclaimed album, Be The Cowboy, In June 2019, Mitski announced on Twitter that she would be taking a break from touring indefinitely after wrapping up her final scheduled concert date that September.

“Cop Car” is the sixth single released from a stacked soundtrack to the upcoming horror film The Turning, based on the Henry James novella The Turn of the Screw. Lawrence Rothman, along with collaborator Yves Rothman, co-produced the soundtrack. Previous releases include singles from Soccer Mommy and Courtney Love, as well as Empress Of and the goth par excellence team-up of Lawrence Rothman and Pale Waves.

The album and movie are out this Friday, January 24th.

Dead Oceans, exclusively licensed to KRO Records

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Mitski has shared a new live video shot during her run of four sold-out shows at Brooklyn Steel in New York City last year. The video shows her passionate, emotive performance of the fan favorite “Drunk Walk Home” from her 2014 album Bury Me At Makeout Creek. The Brooklyn Steel shows were part of an ongoing series of tours behind her hit record Be the Cowboy, which was widely considered to be among the best albums of 2018.

“I asked filmmaker Derrick Belcham to film some of the four Brooklyn Steel dates we did at the end of last year’s U.S. tour, mostly to commemorate the first big Be The Cowboy tour, especially since I knew we wouldn’t repeat the same set again after that round of tours,” Mitski said in a statement. “Now that we’ve started to tour a new set this year, I wanted to put this video out as a goodbye to this old set, and a thank you to everyone who came to the shows last year.”

Belcham is a Canadian filmmaker based in Brooklyn, N.Y., who, prior to directing “Drunk Walk Home” for Mitski, has worked with artists like Philip Glass, Paul Simon, Laurie Anderson and Steve Reich.

“Drunk Walk Home” recorded live at Brooklyn Steel on December 1st, 2018. ‘Be The Cowboy’ Out Now on Dead Oceans.

Mitski is currently on tour in the American South with Bay Area songwriter Jay Som.

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Mitski Miyawaki was born in Japan to an American father and Japanese mother. She studied at Purchase College’s Conservatory of Music, during which she self-released her first two albums, and served a short stint as a vocalist in a prog-metal band. She’s probably too creative and eccentric for mainstream success but she’s been steadily been building a profile; Iggy Pop has cited her as “probably the most advanced American songwriter that I know”, while her latest album “Be The Cowboy” cracked the top ten on many year end lists everywhere.

Be The Cowboy is Mitski’s fifth studio album. Her first two albums were genteel, based around her piano. They were followed by two albums of noisy guitar. Be The Cowboy captures the sweet spot between the two approaches; sometimes it features outbursts of noisy guitar, like on ‘A Pearl’.

But sometimes Mitski opts for a pop-oriented approach; the chunky guitars of ‘Why Didn’t You Stop Me’ are juxtaposed against a peppy synth line. ‘Me and My Husband’ is weirdly futuristic pop-soul with piano, synths, and horns all competing for attention.

The 14 songs of Be The Cowboy run just over half an hour, with individual songs often clocking in under two minutes. Three or four minute songs are usually the building blocks of pop albums, so these short pieces are refreshing. The overall effect is like that of a movie, especially when there are clear themes running through these songs.

Mitski has been protective of her personal life, so it’s difficult to tell what’s fiction and what’s autobiographical here, but there are themes of isolation and repression within a relationship on Be The Cowboy The album’s second single song, ‘Nobody’, opens with the lyrics “My God, I’m so lonely/So I open the window/To hear sounds of people”.

Be The Cowboy is a phenomenally strong album, balancing creative textures and themes with an unerring pop sense that makes it an easy record to access. It’s among my favourite album’s of 2018 that I’ve covered to date, and a contender for the top ten of the decade for sure.

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Our Girl – Stranger Today

Our Girl inhabit a space bigger than the first loves, sleepless nights and growing pains that define Stranger Today. Don’t miss this very special debut. For fans of The Big Moon, Lush and The Breeders

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Oh Sees – Smote Reverser

Crack the coffers, Oh Sees have spawned another frothy album of head-destroying psych-epics to grok and rock out to. Notice the fresh dollop of organ and keyboard prowess courtesy of Memory Of A Cut Off Headalum and noted key-stabber Tom Dolas, while the Paul Quattrone / Dan Rincon drum-corps polyrhythmic pulse continues to astound and pound in equal measure, buttressed by the nimble fingered bottom end of Sir Tim Hellman the Brave and the shred-heaven fret frying of John Dwyer, whilst Lady Brigid Dawson again graces the wax with her harmonic gifts. Aside from the familiar psych-scorch familiar to soggy pit denizens the world over, there’s a fresh heavy-prog vibe that fits like a worn-in jean jacket comfortably among hairpin metal turns and the familiar but no less horns-worthy guitar fireworks Dwyer’s made his calling card. Perhaps the most notable thing about Smote Destroyer is the artistic restlessness underpinning its flights of fancy. Dwyer refuses to repeat himself and for someone with such a hectic release schedule, that stretching of aesthetic borders and omnivorous appetite seems all the more superhuman!


Mitski – Be The Cowboy

Hailed as the new vanguard of indie rock following the breakout success of 2016’s Puberty 2, Mitski returns with 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.”

Throughout the 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.”

Mikey collins hoick

Mikey Collins – Hoick

Hoick is the solo album from Allo Darlin’drummer Mikey Collins, who combines his love of solid grooves and joyous harmonies to create a fun and sonically varied record. Mikey played most of the instruments and mixed the record himself, with some assistance from Laura Kovic (Tigercats) on vocals and fellow Allo Darlin’ member Paul Rains on lead guitar. The flicker of his previous band provided the building blocks of an upbeat, positive record, but Mikey wanted to add his own quirky, disco spin and sonic expansiveness. The aim to make a record that people stood a chance of being able to dance to. Mikey draws on influences as far flung as Dexy’s, Bruce Springsteen, Night Works, Matthew E White and Father John Misty. Mikey began working on the album while he was in Allo Darlin’. The last few years were a conveyor belt of change as he; got married, had a child, bought a house, moved from London to be by the Kent coast and opened a residential studio Big Jelly Studios (Girl Ray, Metronomy, Pete Doherty, Mt Wolf, Seamus Fogarty and Elva). In short, he grew up. The record journeys through these changes but has its roots firmly grounded in his new seaside habitat.

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Slaves – Acts Of Fear And Love

Slaves release their third album Acts of Fear and Love via Virgin EMI/AMF Records. The band’s third album reflects that fear and love may actually be the biggest motivators in the world at the moment. Working with previous collaborator, producer Jolyon Thomas (Royal Blood, U2) in Brussels, the band opened themselves up to a new sonic territory. Not concerning themselves with other people’s expectations of what a Slaves album should sound like the band have experimented with their style, without any boundaries; embracing pop song writing and tender moments alongside the more traditional hardcore riffs and scream-along choruses. Standouts include the joyous thrash of Bugs, the sprawling and tense title track and the Blur mixed with Weezer esque banger Chokehold.

Anno lp sleeve

Anna Meredith – Anno

Anna Meredith releases Anno, a boundary-pushing collaboration with the Scottish Ensemble, in which original pieces of work by the classical-electronic composer are intertwined with Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Released via Moshi Moshi, the project began as an immersive 360 degree live experience but is now available on double vinyl and CD. After a recording process using the unusual ‘binaural recording head’ the project will also be available in an exclusive binaural recording – allowing the listener to experience the unique spatial aspects of the piece through headphones.

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Follakzoid  – London Sessions with J Spaceman

It should come as no surprise to fans of the Chilean trio Follakzoid that upon meeting the legendary Jason Pierce AKA J. Spaceman (Spacemen 3, Spiritualized), they discovered they were kindred spirits. Follakzoid and Spaceman’s projects share a restless drive to explore the outer limits of music, as well as an uncanny ability to lock into a groove until it infiltrates the deepest recesses of the listener’s psyche. When Follakzoid met Spaceman backstage at a Wooden Shjips gig at London’s Electric Ballroom several years ago, they instantly became friends. For London Sessions, the Chileans and Spaceman joined forces for new, live-to-tape renditions of Electricand Earth, two highlights from Föllakzoid’s III. The recordings were made in a private studio in London while Follakzoid was on tour in Europe in June 2016, and Spaceman’s contributions breathe new life into the songs. “Jason added a very different harmonic atmosphere to the songs,” guitarist Domingo Garcia-Huidobro explained. “It somehow rearticulated the space and metric that already existed in a way the band never could. These new versions have a different edge.”

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The Myrrors – Borderlands

If you see The Myrrors as the dust-caked disciples of a specific strain of desert-drone mysticism, theres little on Borderlands, their fourth full-length Myrrors album released in as many years, to dissuade you from that vision. Theres only confirmation an intoxicating combination of outlook and output that clarifies and crystallizes the bands many sonic strengths throughout the albums fantastically unfolding forty-plus minutes. From the beginning, with an appropriately Albert Ayler-ish blast of Awakening, to the epic 20-minute B-sidelong excursion, Note From the Underground, the beating heart of The Myrrors current statement. Borderlands will be extremely satisfying to otherworldly music seekers who find aural transcendence through the works of artists such as International Harvester, Taj Mahal Travellers, Trad Gras och Stenar, Kikagaku Moyo, Amon Duul, and Agitation Free, to name a few.


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.


Mitski is a singer-songwriter fresh off the release of her album, Puberty 2. The follow-up to 2014’s ‘Bury Me At Makeout Creek’, named after a Simpsons quote and hailed Best New Music by Pitchfork as “a complex 10-song story [containing] some of the most nuanced, complex and articulate music that’s come from the indiesphere in a while,” Puberty 2 picks up where its predecessor left off. “It’s kind of a two parter,” explains Mitski. “It’s similar in sound, but a direct growth [from] that record.” Musically, there are subtle evolutions: electronic drum machines pulse throughout beneath Pixies-ish guitars, while saxophone lights up its opening track. “I had a certain confidence this time. I knew what I wanted, knew what I was doing and wasn’t afraid to do things that some people may not like.”

This installment of the AEA Sessions video series features New York-based singer-songwriter, Mitski, as she performs three songs from her 2016 album, ‘Puberty 2’.

Alone with her guitar and washed in a warm, orange glow, Mitski delivers dynamic performances that explore a range of texture and tone. In ‘My Body Is Made Of Crushed Little Stars’, she sings of youthful restlessness while her guitar roars with energy and ferocity. In contrast, her words of somber sympathy in ‘I Bet On Losing Dogs’ ring most true atop her delicate finger-picked guitar playing.

“…so the lyrics and the vocal melody are king in my songs. they always come first.” Mitski’s approach to songwriting begins from the ground up, with a deliberate vocal melody that manifests the vivid imagery of her words. “The way I learned to write was just writing things down on paper and hearing it in my head and kind of hoping for the best.”

In these sessions, Mitski’s voice and guitar come together to create singular, evocative moments that linger in the mind.

To best capture these moments, we rely on the simple, but effective combination of the near-field N22 and far-field, stereo R88. Both Mitski’s vocal and guitar cab are recorded by the near-field NUVO N22, while the stereo R88 records the room. All tracks are without equalization or compression and the reverb is provided by a plate reverb unit.

In terms of message though, Mitski cuts the same defiant, feminist figure on Puberty 2 that won her acclaim last time around (her hero is MIA, for her politics as much as her music). Born in Japan, Mitski grew up surrounded by her father’s Smithsonian folk recordings and mother’s 1970s Japanese pop CDs in a family that moved frequently: she spent stints in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malaysia, China and Turkey among other countries before coming to New York to study composition at SUNY Purchase.