Mitski was a name that kept floating around in various podcast discussions and indie underground circles. Though she released 4 albums already, I didn’t really understand her damage until Puberty 2, her 2016 album. And even then, I didn’t exactly get it. She’s one of those artists that, at least for me, took a while to figure out. I had to listen to Puberty 2 a couple of times to finally acknowledge it as a collection of music. She sounded good. She had a point of view. But I wasn’t terribly in love with it. And seeing her perform at Coachella didn’t exactly change my mind–however it was funny to see her get a bit peeved at a band mate. She didn’t exactly seem to be in a bright mood for most of the set (though I don’t know how she usually happens to act in front of a crowd). Nevertheless, she released the first single for her upcoming 5th album, Be The Cowboy, called “Geyser.” It is a departure from her previous work in an assortment of ways; but I can’t help to get goosebumps every time I hear it.
First of all, it sounds like a geyser. The rather short song starts off slow and synth-y before quickly building up in both vocals and instrumentals, akin to a show tune. It’s funny that she mentions that this song “is one of [her] vaguest songs” as it does feel a lot more commercial, which loses a specific narrative that she generally instills in previous material. But the message of longing for something (“You’re the one I got|So I’ll keep turning down the hands|That beckon me to come”), and her claiming that it’s about relinquishing everything for the sake of music and/or producing music, is what draws me to care and find motivation to pursue my own musically-leaning dreams. I tend to disfavor vague sentences, a trend that I, and my brother, had difficultly appreciating while listening to the recent Kacey Musgraves album, but for some reason, it works here. Mainly because it doesn’t over stay its welcome. It bursts just one time and calls it a day.
Not into music talking about music? Well, try out a single from her previous album. Similar to “Geyser,” “Happy” starts off the album. It has a haunting restlessness that’s both thrilling and amusing. Though it’s not a proper indicator for the rest of the album, it does energize the mind before placing you inside a dry punk state.