Where have all the cowboys gone? Be The Cowboy finds Mitski Miyawaki examining the expectations we have for artists to be beaming and strong but still vulnerable, an expectation she found rather exhausting after the success of 2016’s Puberty 2: “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. I was feeling really nihilistic and trying to make pop songs.” Lead single “Geyser” finds Mitski’s porcelain-like vocals and uplifting piano vamps fighting against a bed of electronic glitches and brooding synth strings, before all the uncertainty and vulnerability is swept away by an enormous crescendo of drums and guitars announcing Mitski as indie’s new vanguard. The rest of the LP finds her charismatic balladry coupled with dense piano, guitar and drum arrangements, accentuated with electronic textures courtesy of longtime co-producer Patrick Hyland. Speaking on the album title, Mitski explains: “With a lot of the romantic infatuations I've had, when I look back, I wonder, did I want them or did I want to be them? Did I love them or did I want to absorb whatever power they had? I decided I could just be my own cowboy figure that I so desire.” Be the cowboy you want to see in the world...
- cassette version
- type II tape in smoke grey color shell
- includes foldout J-card insert
- music label: Dead Oceans 2018
reviewed by big dumb man 05/2018