There is a reason coming-of-age stories resonate with so many people; when we go through any sort of transition in our lives, we feel raw and vulnerable, but also excited, anticipating what’s next. It is a difficult map of emotions to navigate, and we take comfort in knowing we’re not alone. MITSKI, a recent graduate from SUNY Purchase, has been experiencing a lot of change and has channeled all that energy into her fourth full-length album BURY ME AT MAKEOUT CREEK, out now on DOUBLE DOUBLE WAMMY.
BURY ME AT MAKEOUT CREEK has all the elements of that classic “coming-of-age” genre – the name itself is full of angst and nostalgia – and it is a truly great combination of scholarly constructed pop, unhinged and all sorts of emotions. MITSKI is undergoing that harrowing experience of being in your early twenties and navigating New York City after college. This album’s sound is new to her too, leaving behind her full orchestra compositions and meticulous string arrangements for good ol’ guitar, bass, and wild vocals. Over these ten tracks, MITSKI’s voice ranges from a delicate, beautiful whisper to a powerful, raw roar, screaming out revelations like “I’m not gonna be what my Daddy wants me to be/ I wanna be what my body wants me to be.” Even just the song’s titles are painfully true; “Jobless Monday” is a rhythmic indie hit full of layered “oohs” and synth chords cutting through deep, droning vocals that lament “It’s a windy afternoon/ can’t afford to buy my food;” “Drunk Walk Home” is a cathartic thrash as her screams meld with the screeching guitars over bare beats.
MITSKI has a clear touch with melody and composition, but there is an added frantic energy that makes this record stand out. It is courageous, rewarding every listen with haunting beauty and exploding power. MITSKI was right to move away from the concert halls and approach her music from a more intimate point of view. She may be struggling with the “uphill battle of adulthood,” but she sure knows how to hook us into her world.