Indie sensation Mitski has once again delivered a record that resonates on multiple levels, this time with her seventh studio album, The Land Is Inhospitable And So Are We. Known for her poignant lyricism and genre-defying soundscapes, Mitski continues to push the boundaries of her artistry in this latest offering as this album marks the first time Mitski recorded live together with the band in the studio. With a concise 33-minute runtime encompassing 11 tracks, she skillfully crafts an emotionally charged, intimate, and thought-provoking experience that lingers long after the final note.
The album opens with “Bug Like An Angel,” a gripping introduction that immediately captures the listener’s attention. Mitski’s gentle vocals, teetering on the edge of raw vulnerability, are flawlessly complemented by a sudden chime-in from a choir, gorgeously exclaiming “FAMILY!”. This track sets the stage for the rollercoaster of emotions to come, and it’s abundantly clear that The Land Is Inhospitable And So Are We is an album where Mitski is in full command of her creative prowess.
One of the standout elements on The Land Is Inhospitable And So Are We is how Mitski incorporates the pedal steel guitar sliding throughout the album. It gives many tracks an Americana flair that harmonizes beautifully with her siren-like vocals. The album, on the whole, is much more subdued than her previous releases but shines a spotlight on her songwriting abilities and her capacity to deliver vocals with intense passion, much akin to a PJ Harvey record. The contrast between the lively music and melancholic lyrics is both striking and haunting.
The album’s brevity is both a strength and a weakness. While it leaves listeners craving more of Mitski’s emotional depth, it also allows for a concentrated and focused listening experience. Each track feels meticulously crafted, and there’s no filler material to be found. In fact, on just over a two-minute song like “I Don’t Like My Mind,” or the not even two-minute track “When Memories Snow,” you find yourself yearning for more, as Mitski builds up great moments that are clearly over too quickly.
The Land Is Inhospitable And So Are We is another triumph for Mitski. It’s a concise yet emotionally expansive journey that showcases her growth as an artist and her ability to tap into the depths of the human experience. Mitski’s willingness to push boundaries and explore new sonic landscapes sets her apart as a true innovator in the indie music scene. With this album, she invites her audience to bring her love into their own lives, helping to forge a path through all the emotional wilderness that can sometimes stand in the way.
For more of Thomas Wilde’s music reviews, check out The Fire Note
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