July 26, 2023

Mitski - "Bug Like an Angel"

Following last year's Laurel Hell, Mitski is back with a new album called The Land is Inhospitable and So Are We and it's lead by the single "Bug Like an Angel."

Mitski's rise to a semi-cult icon and leading figure in indie rock has been one full of artistic change and growth. On her breakthrough album Puberty 2, she channeled her inner big time rock moments and created swelling songs with anthemic choruses. Be the Cowboy zeroed in on shimmering disco melodies and grooves while Laurel Hell brought on stylized synth-pop. On her latest output, Mitski once again reveals a new layer of herself. "Bug Like an Angel" is almost a minimal track that takes on slowcore ambience while still fitting in bursts of energy. Acoustic guitar and soft piano underscore this number while she calmly delivers her vulnerability and self-reflection from past mistakes. "As I got older, I learned I am a drinker" she decries before claiming that "sometimes a drink feels like family." There are words of advice and wisdom, but it's not clear if she's speaking to herself or offering this up to others. Just when it feels most isolating, however, a tidal wave of voices strikes down and the choir lifts the song to new heights. It's a move she'll inject several times throughout the song and it hits with a startling punch, like the waves of electric guitar in a Low song, but somehow almost more devastating. There's a starkness to the song and the bleakness comes through under thoughtful guise, but still, it there are times when it sounds absolutely massive. According to a press release, the new album is her "most sonically expansive, epic, and wise album to-date." While epic could easily be used to describe parts of Mitski's past albums, "Bug Like an Angel" certainly delivers on the expansive nature and if she's giving her past-self much needed advice, it's clear that she's grown beyond her musical talents, but her emotional capacity as well.

The Land is Inhospitable and So Are We is out September 15.

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