I discovered Mitski Miyawaki, who goes by the mononym, “Mitski,” on a curated Spotify playlist that popped up on my discover page. I had heard her name before because she went on tour with Lorde earlier this year. (Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see her at the show I went to.)
Her album, Be the Cowboy, released just last month is a gem among the massive pool of modern indie artists. Every song on this album is a musical vignette of intimacy and human relationships, with each track being just as unique and complex as the next. Mitski’s strength, however, definitely comes from her candid and introspective lyrics.
A stand-out on the record is definitely, “Nobody.” She confesses, “My God, I’m so lonely / So I open the window / To hear sounds of people.” The lyrics expressing discontent with being alone are so beautifully vulnerable. “And I don’t want your pity / I just want somebody near me / Guess I’m a coward / I just want to feel alright.” Feelings of detachment and loneliness are so universal, and yet we don’t talk about it. Mitski’s honesty on the subject is truly admirable. Another essential track is “A Pearl,” which manages to capture so much agony in its short 2 minutes and 36 seconds.
Since most of the songs on Be the Cowboy are so short, the album can feel faint, leaving you wanting more. The overall abrupt feeling of the album is perhaps its only downfall. Needless to say, it is an emotionally charged and heart-wrenching piece that impressively packs more than one would expect in its full 32 minutes.