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Album Review: Mitski - 'Laurel Hell'

Updated: May 4, 2023

Indie star Mitski is back with her latest album Laurel Hell which drops on Friday and we're excited for her return! Laurel Hell is the follow-up to her critically acclaimed, Be the Cowboy. Many of the songs for Laurel Hell were written in or before 2018, but were finished producing and mixing in 2021. Mitski said that as the music existed within the space of global crisis that emerged from the pandemic, these tracks began to take new forms and became more upbeat. Mitski found herself creating something that was meant as a collective pep talk.

One positive byproduct of the pandemic is the space that artists have found to allow themselves to create dynamic work to help us function in the day to day reality of this world. Mitski is an important voice to have in this current moment and she's got plenty to say on Laurel Hell. She tackles the complications of relationships in "The Only Heartbreaker" and wonders if the "bad guy" in a relationship keeps making mistakes because they're the only one trying. Thematically, Laurel Hell raises the bar in many ways given Mitski's talent as a songwriter. She's able to take a diverse palate of themes and make them just what we need in this hellscape of a COVID world we're stuck in.

Musically, many of the tracks take on a nostalgia-driven 80's dance style that is infectious to the listener. "Love Me More" doesn't ask, it demands you get on the floor and move. If you're not in the know on Mitski already, I implore you to check this album out. If you're a fan, you know what to do. What's clear here is that Mitski is back and on top of her game. This is already an early favorite for album of the month, and will likely be there at the end of the year for best albums of 2022.

Rating - 5/5

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