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  • Writer's pictureSophia Dio

Listen for Heaven: Mitski Single Review

Who is Mitski?

Mitsuki Laycock, otherwise known as Mitski, is a wildly popular Asian-American singer-songwriter known for her famous albums “Be the Cowboy” and “Bury Me at Makeout Creek”. Her hard work and efforts made her name famous during 2019 and 2020 with songs like “Washing Machine Heart” and “First Love/Late Spring”. Mitski received fame during the 2020 quarantine. Numerous people discovered her melancholy music as a way to cope with their sadness and struggles, especially in times of isolation. As the quarantine concluded, her fame lessened and her audience moved on from their “Mitski phases”. But behind every fan’s back, she’s been creating more and more songs. Eventually, she released her new single “Featuring Star,” “Heaven,” and “Bug Like An Angel.” These singles fall under the upcoming album “The Land Is Inhospitable But So Are We”.

Star - Song Review

Star is a newly released song that has meaningful lyrics referring to stars that “burn”. This piece refers to a love that is slowly fading away, but it still has the light that made the couple fall in love. In the first chorus it says, “That love is like a star, it’s gone, we just see it shinin’, it’s traveled very far, I’ll keep a leftover light burnin’ so you can keep lookin’ up, isn’t that worth holding onto?” In this chorus, the “star” is love that is going away but its radiance still reflects on the protagonist who's keeping a “burning leftover light” for their partner. “It’s traveled very far” which can mean that the love has gone through a long journey even if it’s fading in the relationship. The last line of the chorus, refers to the protagonist questioning if they should keep trying in this relationship even if the love is dying.

Heaven - Song Review

Heaven was written at the same time as the “Be the Cowboy” album, and was originally intended to be in another album called “Laurel Hell”. Mitski’s thoughts for this song were that it was romantic and she decided to include an orchestra to Heaven’s instrumental. The instrumental gives a “celestial” vibe to the song. As for the lyrics, it can be interpreted various ways but when it comes to the most evident one, people see it as a romantic song. My interpretation of this song is that this is about a protagonist who focuses on positive aspects of her relationship, with the one whose voice “curses as you find the string to strike within me, that rings out a note heard in heaven”. In this case, “Heaven” is used as a term for supreme bliss. So even if the protagonist fights through the troubles their partner causes, they focus on the romance of the relationship.

Bug Like an Angel - Song Review

Bug Like An Angel is a song with powerful meaning although it discusses the issue of addiction stated by Mitski herself, in one of her “Behind the Song” videos found on Youtube. This instrumental includes chord progressions with vocals, merged together which causes instability. In the first verse, it creates a setting where the protagonist is drinking a glass, noticing a bug stuck on the bottom. As they raise the glass, the bug looks like an angel in the sky. Mitski says that the listeners are able to visualize the final lyrics in a good or bad way. The lyrics are, “When I’m bent over, wishing it was over, makin’ all variety vows I’ll never keep, I try to remember the wrath of the devil was given by God”. In the optimistic version, the protagonist hits rock bottom but realizes the “wrath of the devil” was sent by God to teach them a moral lesson. However in the pessimistic ending, the protagonist is at rock bottom, vowing and pleading to God to end their suffering. However, this was what God wanted as they had deserved a punishment.

Conclusion

Mitski has been hiding many things in store for us listeners and we are looking forward to her upcoming album “The Land Is Inhospitable and So Are We”. Her mellow yet powerful lyrics of these 3 songs illustrated deep stories and displayed meaningful messages for everyone to interpret. We can just imagine how beautiful Mitski will reimagine her songs and surprise us with new concepts.

Photo Credits: By Kenny Sun from Boston - Mitski @ Paradise Rock Club (Boston, MA), CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=57957415


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