4/6 KUMD Album Review: Mitski

Apr 8, 2015

Mitski, "Bury Me At Make Out Creek"

Getting old sucks.  To a high schooler, a desk job is far from glamorous.  To a desk jockey, high school nostalgia may be the only thing worth holding onto in life.  Mitski’s Bury Me at Make Out Creek embodies this mentality in its cover, which features an open window on the upper level of a nameless office—suggesting someone opted out.  The Simpsons-referencing title infers they made the jump with teenage whimsy in mind.

Mitski is a four piece based out of Brooklynn, but their sound gives off a more footloose vibe.  Lead singer Mitski’s voice is folksy and evocative of First Aid Kit, while the instrumentation seems to be rooted in 90s garage.  Thematically, this combination works perfectly—somber musings on adulthood over lo-fi instrumentation that sounds like it’s from the glory days.  “First Love/Late Spring” best defines this harmony with lyrics like, “One word from you and I would jump off of this ledge I’m on, baby/Tell me don’t so I can crawl back in.”  The track features an organ and a Yo La Tengo-esque guitar that segues into a perfectly gratuitous change in key.

Despite staying grounded in a theme, Mitski’s instrumentation goes interesting places in its garage homage.  An aimless sludge guitar and programmed drums are standouts on “I Don’t Smoke,” as well as a fuzzy 8-bit solo on “Jobless Monday,” both of which seem optimal for head banging.  In fact, the whole album wails in the best way possible. 

Throughout adolescence and your early 20s, there’s a weird solace in knowing no one has a clue of what’s going on.  However inevitable, this youthful uncertainty slowly becomes a manufactured idea of what an adult should be.  Mitski articulates this change like no other, constantly pining for a lost youthful innocence.  Somewhere in between an episode of Girls and Louie, Mitski describes adult life as being a “tall child” full of regret.  In a way, Mitski finds an equally weird solace in commiserating over reality.

Quentin is a Basement DJ and actually an optimist.  Just not when listening to Mitski.