by Clara Laughlin
June 17, 2022
Mitski Miyawaki, born on September 27th, 1990 in Mie, Japan, is known as one of the best artists from the 21st century. Throughout her youth, Mitski lived in over 13 countries and graduated High School in Turkey. Mitski then moved back to the United States in order to study film at Hunter College in New York City and soon transferred to study music composition at SUNY Purchase. This is where she would release her first two albums; Lush (2012) and Retired from Sad, New Career in Business (2013). Although she used her school’s resources to produce these albums– including a 60-piece student orchestra– Mitski released them herself via Bandcamp. After graduating from SUNY Purchase in 2013, Mitski released Bury Me at Makeout Creek (2014), Puberty 2 (2016), Be The Cowboy (2018), and Laurel Hell (2022). Through varying instrumentals and lyrical expression, Mitski creates a very different experience for the listeners of each album.
Bury Me at Makeout Creek, for example, expresses Mitski’s exhaustion and fury after finishing her first two albums, graduating from SUNY Purchase, and working endlessly in order to pay her bills. The song Last Words of a Shooting Star is a personal favorite from this album. Last Words of a Shooting Star, the last song on the album, is based on a true experience and consists of three verses. In this song, Mitski describes a near-death experience on a turbulent plane and how this experience served as a catalyst for reflection on past life and lovers. Regarding the sonics of Bury Me at Makeout Creek, Mitski replaced the piano theme in her last two albums with a guitar. Similarly, she had to switch to an at-home studio after using her school’s professional recording studios. Mitski’s lyrics in this album expand upon the complicated nature of youth and young love.
Overall, Mitski’s thoughtfulness in writing and producing her music makes it incredibly special. Each album conveys a different message as she reflects on different experiences in her life. With common themes of difficulty in relationships– parental and romantic, depression, the difficulties of youth, and much more, Mitski has created a song for everyone. Her music is truly unique and I would highly recommend a listen.