Mitski’s sixth album, “Laurel Hell,” came out on Friday, February 4. While I haven’t had time to collect my thoughts on the album as a whole, I know one thing for certain: “That’s Our Lamp” is one of my new favorite songs of all time.
The song opens with bouncy-sounding synths and steady percussion and quickly blossoms into full-blown 80s synth-pop inspired instrumentation. The lyricism is simple, and consists of Mitksi accepting that her relationship with someone has come to an end.
The crux of the song lies in a collection of lyrics. In verse one, she states “You say you love me / I believe you do / But I walk down and up and down / And up and down this street.” Immediately following this, the first chorus kicks in: “’Cause you just don’t like me / Not like you used to.” Finally, in the second verse and second chorus, Mitski lets go of this love: “We may be ending / I’m standing in the dark / Looking up into our room / Where you’ll be waiting for me / Thinking that’s where you loved me / That’s where you loved me.” The outro then repeats “That’s where you loved me” over and over into eventual oblivion.
These lyrics tap into a feeling that’s hard for me to put into words besides the ones she used to make me feel them. The hopelessness that comes with knowing you’ve grown out of someone’s love, and they’ve grown out of yours. Being in the places where you used to love each other into ecstasy, and feeling foreign in them. Knowing that time is waiting to embrace you with open arms, but not totally being ready to move on from the past– pushing forward anyways.
Mitski brings a new light to this hopelessness, juxtaposing her lyrics with the aforementioned 80s synth-pop backing instrumentals. The end builds and builds, layering in sounds of people laughing and talking, representing that there’s always a new love after old loves and friendships fade away. So it goes.
Mitski is going on tour in support of her sixth album “Laurel Hell,” starting in North Carolina. The first two dates are in Asheville and Raleigh, on February 17 and 18 respectively.