Mitski is a singer-songwriter, graduate of Purchase College’s Conservatory of Music, and prominent artist in the indie rock sphere. Though her background began in piano and orchestral music, she has moved into a sound characterized by guitar and bass, with occasional piano, and of course her incredible vocals. She has experimented with many different sounds and themes, and toured with musicians like Pixies and Lorde.
I first saw Mitski after the release of Bury Me At Makeout Creek. I saw her perform my favorites from the album at her show in Atlanta in 2015. Since then she has gained a lot more popularity in music. A lot of fans really love Mitski’s emotionally charged songs especially within this album, dealing with themes of loneliness and an urge to belong within society. Bury Me At Makeout Creek pairs synthesizers, deep bass, and light, high-pitched vocals. With this album, Mitski broke away from her roots in traditional orchestral music and moved into pure indie/alternative.
Her next album, Puberty 2, was released under Dead Oceans, a label she signed with at the end of 2015. The album is deeply personal and its sound draws upon all three of her previous albums, with an obvious additional influence from electronic and pop music. She delves deeper into her struggle with belonging and her racial identity, especially in songs like “Your Best American Girl.” Mitski also opens up to listeners about depression and alienation, most apparent in the album’s opening track, “Happy.”
Mitski’s most recent release, Be The Cowboy, is Mitski’s fifth album. Something I like about this one is that no matter how much she evolves musically as an artist, her one-of-a-kind vocals remain the same. The album mixes guitar, piano, and synthesizers for a sound that seems to combine that of each of her previous albums. This album focuses less on her personal emotions but rather her worldview; the album has been well-loved within the indie community for its melancholic lyricism.
Mitski is a really talented artist with a unique sound. If you’ve never heard her, I recommend listening first to Bury Me At Makeout Creek. Let me know what you think!