Sounds Like: A slow-building breakthrough at an indie-rock therapy session.
For Fans of: Rilo Kiley, Jessica Lea Mayfield, Liz Phair
Why You Should Pay Attention: Mitski's recent Bury Me at Make Out Creek, showcases the singer's ability to turn delicate indie-folk into carefree heavy rock at a moment's notice. Her voice is both confident and sad, and her lyrics are personal and poetic — "I want a love that falls as fast as a body from the balcony," she sings in "Townie," "and I want a kiss like my heart is hitting the ground."
It's a sound that's been a long time coming. Mitski studied composition in college and her past records have leaned more toward piano-driven, singer-songwriter tunes. She cites the international folk music her dad would play, and the Japanese pop her mom would sing to herself as inspirations, but she also draws influence from M.I.A., Mica Levi, Björk and J-pop singer Shiina Ringo, "because they all do what the fuck they want, and do it well." She learned guitar last year, and out came Bury Me at Make Out Creek ("I had to make songs that would be good even when played badly," she says). In turn, she's been gaining critical praise and a busy performance schedule, with an upcoming tour supporting Hundred Waters and Screaming Females and another with Speedy Ortiz.
She Says: "I'd never screamed in the studio before doing 'Drunk Walk Home,' but it just felt right for the song. I remember I did an initial take of screams and they were pretty tame because I was shy, and then the recording engineer stood up and said, 'Let me try,' and did a set of screams that were better, and I was like, 'Oh, OK fucker, watch this,' and did the screams on the record. I'm easily coerced by competition."
Hear for Yourself: The debauched "Townie" perfectly captures the feeling of losing control on a wild night. By Kory Grow