Originally published on KDHX.org
Mitski is riding high on waves from her third album, “Bury Me at Makeout Creek,” a sleeper hit that started gaining traction on indie airwaves last year and continues to win over fans.
A classically-trained musician with an arresting voice, the indie singer-songwriter hails from Brooklyn, New York and she is every bit of a big city artist. She is bold and genuine, with a tenacious voice that redefines dramatic tensions, and her music is simultaneously fearless and distressed, showcasing a talent for crafting lyrics that play into anxiety, relationships and female identity.
Though her recordings are typically much more produced, at times bending into other genres, these three cuts recorded exclusively for KDHX are taken from her first solo album, “Lush,” which display her soul at its bare minimum, an exquisite voice and lyrical prowess backed only by haunting chords on a piano.
In “Liquid Smooth,” the piano vamps to her opening line “I’m beautiful / I know because it’s the season.” The lyrics are decimating, flitting about in untouchable highs and lows designed to pull your emotions up and down on strings, like a puppet on a stage.
Though all these songs are in minor keys, each has its own atmosphere, as in “Pearl Diver,” where she sings about plunging into the depths of darkness in search of something more. “Treasure hunter you are dead / the light of the world is fading,” ending the song on the surprising turn of a major triad.
“Wife” is a confessional note, a song that plays out its narrative with a female monologue, as she laments, “I watch a dream breaking me away / from my cliff I’m looking down.” Her lyrics have an incredible ability to wind through the music, as each ending phrase quickly unfolding to become the beginning of the next.
Mitski is a performer who has achieved a very difficult feat: establishing a strong voice with staggering songwriting capabilities. If her work so far is any indication, fans will be riding her waves for a long time to come.