Laurel Hell

Mitski, an alternative/indie artist, released an album this February 4th

Laurel+Hell

   Mitski Laycock, known simply as Mitski, is a Japanese-American alt/indie artist who is growing in popularity, with over 9 million listeners on Spotify alone. On February 4th she released her 6th studio album titled Laurel Hell through Dead Oceans. 

   Produced by Patrick Hyland, it has been characterized as a genre-blend of synth-pop, indie-pop, and electronic rock; this album has also gone through a myriad of production changes. It started as a punk piece, then became country, before settling on the electronic form it now has.

   Before the release of this album, four songs off its track list were released as a way to tease the full product. These songs, in order, were: Working the Knife on October 5th, and The Only Heartbreaker on November 9, were followed by two singles released at the same time, Heat Lightning and Love me More

   Onto the songs themselves, each track is uniquely strong with Mitski’s uniquely quiet style of singing. Working for the Knife is especially powerful with lines such as, “I used to think I’d be done by 20 / Now at 29, the road ahead appears the same” capitalizing on the sense of dread we all feel about growing up.

   Off of Valentine Texas she also says, “Let’s step carefully into the dark / Once we’re in I’ll remember my way around ” conjuring the familiarity she feels when falling back into despair.

   Adding onto her incredible lyricism, smooth and soothing electronic rock melodies accompany her display, with the occasional energetic song to break the engulfing darkness her songs surround you with. One such song is Stay Soft, a personal favorite, which includes a more passionate drum beat.

   Confronting undertones of this album leads to ideas of endings, not necessarily happy, and times filled with darkness. Mitski hoped to convey the suddenness we feel when something ends abruptly, possibly as insight to her own career. She’s truly one of the most inventive artists of recent times, and her discography is worth a listen.

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