Mitski : Be the Cowboy

Mitski Miyawaki, otherwise known as Mitski, returns to the indie scene with Be the Cowboy. Her fifth album is a buffet of sounds that are bite-sized and often brief.

The album opens with the incredible ‘Geyser’. A church organ plays ominously while Mitski brings with her a crash of drums and guitars that lead to a satisfying climax. Her voice is beautiful and almost quivers to the point of crying. Ripping her heart out and displaying it for the world to see can be heard across the album’s 32-minute runtime.

Be the Cowboy borrows little samples of sounds the singer loves to play with. Take ‘Lonesome Love’, with its country-style guitar strumming and Angel Olsen delivery. ‘Remember My Name’ toys with ‘90s shoegaze and grunge. ‘Why Didn’t You Stop Me?’ has a retro-futuristic disco beat over sugary synths.

Due to the album’s short length, some tracks end up sounding more like unfinished demos. ‘Old Friend’ starts promising but sputters out in its final moments. The same goes for ‘Come into the Water’.

Be the Cowboy has some of Mitski’s best songwriting and lyrics to date. She examines the art of loneliness, failed relationships, and her stinging insecurities. When Mitski strikes gold, it’s rewarding.