Mitski’s songs are like jawbreakers (you know, the hard candy with multiple layers): They’re small, they’re sweet and they don’t give themselves away at first pass.
The Japanese-American singer-songwriter’s music digs deep into the turmoil of human emotions and her songs connect with her audience in a profound way.
Over the years she has chronicled yearnings, frustrations, messy romances, the life of a performer and the persistence of doubts and questions. Along the way, her music has moved through piano-centered orchestral pop, guitar-driven indie-rock and, with her breakthrough in 2018, Be the Cowboy, a willingness to try for pop bangers. The popular single “Nobody” touches on themes of alienation and estrangement – but over a disco-paced beat, it’s hard not to want to dance the lonesome away.
Her latest album, Laurel Hell (2022), has a shimmering 80s pop surface. But under the surface something else is going on. Mitski reflects on persistent incompatibility with partners, perceived disinterest in what she has to offer and an overriding ennui.
Mitski almost didn’t make this album. She wanted to quit music for good. In 2019, she announced her “last show indefinitely”. Fortunately, she changed her mind.
Mitski's live performances are usually a masterclass of brevity and efficiency where she can run through two dozen songs. She keeps her shows taut from start to finish.
Look forward to a shambling intimacy when Mitski pours her heart out at Roskilde Festival 2022.