There’s something peculiar about records who teach us new things about ourselves. Something peculiar about records where you can tell that the artist has opened previously closed doors to her or his own personality during the songwriting process. Be The Cowboy is such a record. On her fifth full-length album Mitski explores the controlling side of herself, only to discover that perhaps she hasn’t really got that much control after all. She’s zooming in, enlarges, exaggerates, uses different roles and in a way distances herself from the image of her as one in a long line of confessional singer-songwriters. Yet loneliness, exposure, melancholy and desire seeps through; ”Venus, planet of love/Was destroyed by global warming/Did its people want too much too?/Did its people want too much”, as she sings in Nobody.
Mitski, surname Miyawaki, is one of many talents born in the nineties who quickly has reshaped American indierock to something clearly less male dominated. The twenty-eight year old New Yorker found a larger audience with the album Puberty 2 in 2016, many thanks to the song Your Best American Girl and perhaps even more because of the dazzling lyrics. On last year’s super focused Be The Cowboy, Mitski partly changed her sound and to her palette of influences from Pixies and Liz Phair added Björk and David Bowie.