| Mitski Announces 'Laurel Hell', New Album Out February 4th -

Mitski Announces ‘Laurel Hell’, New Album Out February 4th

Posted on 11/09/2021

Mitski made her bold return last month, presenting “Working for the Knife” and announcing a world tour, with all North American dates selling out instantly. Today, Mitski announces Laurel Hell, her new album, out February 4th on Dead Oceans, and unveils a new single/video, “The Only Heartbreaker.” Laurel Hell is a soundtrack for transformation, a map to the place where vulnerability and resilience, sorrow and delight, error and transcendence can all sit within our humanity, can all be seen as worthy of acknowledgment, and ultimately, love. “I accept it all,” she promises. “I forgive it all.” It cements Mitski’s reputation as an artist who possesses the power of turning our most savage and alienated experiences into the very elixir that cures them. “I wrote what I needed to hear. As I’ve always done.

Following the release of Be the Cowboy, one of 2018’s most praised albums, and Pitchfork, New York Magazine and more’s Album of the Year, launching Mitski from cult favorite to indie star, she ascended amid a fever of national division. The grind of touring and pitfalls of increased visibility influenced her music as much as her spirit, as expressed in “Working for the Knife,” a song that was a touchstone in creating the overall feel of Laurel Hell: “I start the day lying and end with the truth / That I’m dying for the knife.Be the Cowboy was driven by personas of female strength and defiance that, however compelling, amounted to the musician “putting on different masks.” Like the mountain laurels for which this new album is named, public perception, like the intoxicating prism of the internet, can offer an alluring façade that obscures a deadly trap—one that tightens the more you struggle. “I got to a point,” Mitski admits, “where I just knew that if I kept going this way, I would numb myself to completion.”

Exhausted by this warped mirror, and our addiction to false binaries, Mitski began writing songs that stripped away the masks and revealed the complex and often contradictory realities behind them. “I needed love songs about real relationships that are not power struggles to be won or lost,” she explains. “I needed songs that could help me forgive both others and myself. I make mistakes all the time. I don’t want to put on a front where I’m a role model, but I’m also not a bad person. I needed to create this space mostly for myself where I sat in that gray area.

The songs that resulted embody that space. New single “The Only Heartbreaker,” co-written with Dan Wilson, and the first such song in her discography, pairs soaring pop swells with deceptively straightforward lyrics whose sincere refrain turns ironic as it depicts “the person always messing up in the relationship, the designated Bad Guy who gets the blame. It could simply be about that, but I also wanted to depict something sadder beneath the surface, that maybe the reason you’re always the one making mistakes is because you’re the only one trying.” Mitski sings: “So I’ll be the loser in this game // I’ll be the bad guy in the play // I’ll be the water main that’s burst inflames // You’ll be by the window only watching.”

“The Only Heartbreaker” video, co-directed by Maegan Houang and Jeff Desom, presents the bewildering experience of Mitski’s first time being filmed almost entirely in front of a green screen. Houang comments, “The worst pain I’ve experienced is when I’ve fully understood the pain I’ve caused another. It’s one of the hardest parts of being human, that no matter our intentions, we’ll inevitably do something hurtful to our fellow man, if not someone we love. In this case, the harm Mitski enacts in the video is to the world. It’s unstoppable and destructive, but worst of all, she doesn’t even want it to happen. She’s a stand-in for humanity as we collectively do so little to save ourselves and our planet.” 

Mitski wrote many of these songs during or before 2018, and the album was finished being mixed in May 2021. It is the longest span of time Mitski has ever spent on a record, and a process that concluded amid a radically changed world. She recorded Laurel Hell with her longtime producer Patrick Hyland throughout the isolation of a global pandemic, during which some of the songs “slowly took on new forms and meanings, like seed to flower.” The album as a whole evolved “to be more uptempo and dance-y. I needed to create something that was also a pep talk.” Mitski explains. The tension that emerges between her refined but plaintive lyrics and the effervescent 1980s sound is a desperately needed infusion, and the work of a mature artist: an album that delivers nuanced profundity on a current of contagious dance beats. It is irresistible. 

Pre-order Laurel Hell

Laurel Hell Tracklist
1. Valentine, Texas
2. Working for the Knife
3. Stay Soft
4. Everyone
5. Heat Lightning
6. The Only Heartbreaker
7. Love Me More
8. There’s Nothing Left For You
9. Should’ve Been Me
10. I Guess
11. That’s Our Lamp

Mitski Tour Dates
Thu. Feb. 17, 2022 – Asheville, NC @ The Orange Peel – SOLD OUT
Fri. Feb. 18, 2022 – Raleigh, NC @ The Ritz – SOLD OUT
Sat. Feb. 19, 2022 – Atlanta, GA @ The Eastern – SOLD OUT
Mon. Feb. 21, 2022 – Birmingham, AL @ Iron City – SOLD OUT
Tue. Feb. 22, 2022 – New Orleans, LA @ Civic Theatre – SOLD OUT
Thu. Feb. 24, 2022 – Houston, TX @ The Lawn at White Oak Music Hall – SOLD OUT
Fri. Feb. 25, 2022 – Dallas, TX @ The Factory in Deep Ellum – SOLD OUT
Sat. Feb. 26, 2022 – Austin, TX @ ACL Live at Moody Theater – SOLD OUT
Mon. Feb. 28, 2022 – Phoenix, AZ @ The Van Buren – SOLD OUT
Wed. March 2, 2022 – Los Angeles, CA @ Shrine Exposition Hall – SOLD OUT
Thu. March 3, 2022 – Los Angeles, CA @ Shrine Exposition Hall – SOLD OUT
Fri. March 4, 2022 – Oakland, CA @ Fox Theater – SOLD OUT
Sat. March 5,2022 – Oakland, CA @ Fox Theater – SOLD OUT
Mon. March 7, 2022 – Portland, OR @ Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall – SOLD OUT
Wed. March 9, 2022 – Seattle, WA @ Moore Theatre – SOLD OUT
Thu. March 10, 2022 – Seattle, WA @ Moore Theatre – SOLD OUT
Sat. March 12, 2022 – Denver, CO @ Mission Ballroom – SOLD OUT
Mon. March 14, 2022 – St. Paul, MN @ Palace Theatre – SOLD OUT
Tue. March 15, 2022 – Milwaukee, WI @ Miller High Life Theatre – SOLD OUT
Thu. March 17, 2022 – Detroit, MI @ Masonic Temple Theatre – SOLD OUT
Fri. March 18, 2022 – Toronto, ON @ Massey Hall – SOLD OUT
Sat. March 19, 2022 – Montreal, QC @ St-Jean-Baptiste Church – SOLD OUT
Mon. March 21, 2022 – Boston, MA @ Roadrunner – SOLD OUT
Tue. March 22, 2022 – Boston, MA @ Roadrunner – SOLD OUT
Thu. March 24, 2022 – New York, NY @ Radio City Music Hall – SOLD OUT
Fri. March 25, 2022 – Philadelphia, PA @ Franklin Music Hall – SOLD OUT
Sat. March 26, 2022 – Washington, DC @ The Anthem – SOLD OUT
Sun. March 27, 2022 – Washington, DC @ The Anthem – SOLD OUT
Tue. March 29, 2022 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Stage AE – SOLD OUT
Wed. March 30, 2022 – Louisville, KY @ Old Forester’s Paristown Hall – SOLD OUT
Thu. March 31, 2022 – Nashville, TN @ Ryman Auditorium – SOLD OUT
Thu. April 21, 2022 – Bristol, UK @ Marble Factory – SOLD OUT
Fri. April 22, 2022 – Leeds, UK @ University Union Refectory – SOLD OUT
Sat. April 23, 2022 – Glasgow, UK @ Barrowland Ballroom – SOLD OUT
Mon. April 25, 2022 – Dublin, IE @ Vicar Street – SOLD OUT
Tue. April 26, 2022 – Manchester, UK @ Manchester Academy – SOLD OUT
Thu. April 28, 2022 – London, UK @ The Roundhouse – SOLD OUT
Fri. April 29, 2022 – London, UK @ O2 Academy Brixton – SOLD OUT
Sat. April 30, 2022 – Brussels, BE @ Les Nuits Botanique Festival – SOLD OUT
Mon. May 2, 2022 – Tourcoing, FR @ Le Grand Mix – SOLD OUT
Tue. May 3, 2022 – Paris, FR @ L’Olympia
Wed. May 4, 2022 – Amsterdam, NL @ Paradiso – SOLD OUT
Fri. May 6, 2022 – Zurich, CH @ Kaufleuten
Sat. May 7, 2022 – Lausanne, CH @ Les Docks
Mon. May 9, 2022 – Berlin, DE @ Metropol – SOLD OUT
Tue. May 10, 2022 – Copenhagen, DK @ Vega – SOLD OUT
Wed. May 11, 2022 – Stockholm, SE @ Fållan
Thu. May 12, 2022 – Oslo, NO @ Sentrum Scene
Sat. May 14, 2022 – Hamburg, DE @ Fabrik – SOLD OUT
Sun. May 15, 2022 – Cologne, DE @ Carlswerk Victoria – SOLD OUT
Tue. May 17, 2022 – Vienna, AU @ WUK – SOLD OUT
Wed. May 18, 2022 – Prague, CZ @ Archa Theatre – SOLD OUT
Thu. May 19, 2022 – Munich, DE @ Strom – SOLD OUT

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