Mitski is an Underdog Worth Rooting For

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(Crossposted from MTV Iggy, 11/17/2014)

Name: Mitski Miyawaki

Where She’s From: Brooklyn, New York

When She Started: 2012

Genre: Indie rock

For Fans Of: Jenny Lewis, Julie Doiron, Swearin’, Angel Olsen

Sounds Like: being devoured by wildflowers

In Season 11, Episode 11 of The Simpsons, the lovably pitiful geek Milhouse Van Houten sets out on an ill-fated journey to meet a date at Makeout Creek, ditching his glasses after having his poor vision “healed” by a spiritually emboldened Bart Simpson. After Milhouse is hit by a truck he mistook for a dog, he faints in Bart’s arms, croaking, “Bury me… At Makeout Creek.”

Titled after this poignant moment in Simpsons history, singer-songwriter Mitski’s latest album Bury Me At Makeout Creek captures both the severe self-loathing and unwavering, childlike aspiration of underdogs everywhere. Adopting the syrupy croon of a young Patsy Cline, supplemented by the lo-fi volatility of Canadian noise pop outfit Eric’s Trip, Mitski rummages through feelings of alienation in college party scenes and barely-reciprocal romances with a devil-may-care, folk-rock abandon. The dull, sunken pain in her voice is as thick as molasses, but buoyant as whipped cream as she wryly describes herself as “a tall child” in the bedraggled dreampop ballad, “First Love/Late Spring.”

She hits a triumphant peak in her lead single, “Townie.” Her gentle croons traipse erratically upwards into ecstatic cries, before she pulls them back down in time for the chorus, trailed by the off-kilter, overdriven howls of her guitar. You can almost feel her tugging on the reins of her potential as she sings cheekily: “I’m not gonna be what my daddy wants me to be / I wanna be what my body wants me to be.”

Bury Me At Makeout Creek is out now on Double Double Whammy Records.

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