Album Release: Mitski’s Stunning Fifth Album, ‘Be the Cowboy,’ is Out Now

Posted on 08/17/2018

Hailed as the new vanguard of indie rock following the breakout success of 2016’s Puberty 2, Mitski releases Be the Cowboy today. Mitski’s carefully crafted songs have often been portrayed as emotionally raw, overflowing confessionals from a fevered chosen girl, but in her fifth album, Mitski introduces a persona who has been teased before but never so fully present until now—a woman in control.

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For this new record, I experimented in narrative and fiction,” comments Mitski. Though she hesitates to go so far as to say she created full-on characters, she reveals she had in mind “a very controlled icy repressed woman who is starting to unravel. Because women have so little power and showing emotion is seen as weakness, this ‘character’ clings to any amount of control she can get. Still, there is something very primordial in her that is trying to find a way to get out.

In Be the Cowboy, Mitski delves into the loneliness of being a symbol and the loneliness of being someone, how it can feel so much like being no one. Lead single “Geyser” introduces us to a woman who can’t hold it all in any more. She’s about to burst and unleash a torrent of desire and passion that has been building up inside. While recording the album with her long-time producer Patrick Hyland, the pair kept returning to “the image of someone alone on a stage, singing solo with a single spotlight trained on them in an otherwise dark room. For most of the tracks, we didn’t layer the vocals with doubles or harmonies, to achieve that campy ‘person singing alone on stage’ atmosphere.”

There is plenty of buoyant swagger on Be the Cowboy, but just as much interrogation into self-mythology. Throughout these 14 songs, the music swerves from the cheerful to the plaintive. Mournful piano ballads lead into deceptively uptempo songs. “I had been on the road for a long time, which is so isolating, and had to run my own business at the same time. A lot of this record was me not having any feelings, being completely spent but then trying to rally myself and wake up and get back to Mitski.

Mitski Tour Dates:
09/19/18 Manchester, UK – Gorilla
09/20/18 Glasgow, UK – St. Luke’s
09/22/18 Dublin, IRL – Tivoli Theatre
09/24/18 Leeds, UK – Brudenell Social Club
09/25/18 Bristol, UK – The Trinity Centre
09/26/18 London, UK – Shepherd’s Bush Empire
09/28/18 Paris, FR – La Maroquinerie
09/29/18 Antwerp, Belgium – Trix
10/01/18 Cologne, DE – Gebäude 9
10/02/18 Amsterdam, NL – Paradiso Noord
10/04/18 Berlin, DE – Musik und Frieden
10/05/18 Copenhagen , DK – Lille Vega
10/06/18 Hamburg, DE – Uebel & Gefahrlich
10/19/18 Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer
10/20/18 Boston, MA – House of Blues – Boston
10/21/18 Montreal, QC – L’Astral
10/22/18 Toronto, ON – Opera House
10/23/18 Detroit, MI – Magic Stick
10/25/18 Chicago, IL – The Vic Theatre
10/26/18 Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue
10/30/18 Vancouver, BC – Imperial
10/31/18 Seattle, WA – The Showbox
11/01/18 Portland, OR – Crystal Ballroom
11/03/18 San Francisco, CA – Warfield Theater
11/07/18 Los Angeles, CA – The Wiltern
11/08/18 Phoenix, AZ – Crescent Ballroom
11/10/18 Austin, TX – Emo’s East
11/11/18 Dallas, TX – Trees
11/13/18 Nashville, TN – The Basement East
11/14/18 Atlanta, GA – Masquerade: Hell Stage
11/16/18 Washington, DC – 9:30 Club
11/30/18 Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Steel
12/01/18 Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Steel

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