Mitski releases first album of the year, “Laurel Hell.”


Courtesy of WikiCommons

Mitski’s “Laurel Hell” was released in February, and is available on all music streaming platforms.

On Saturday, Feb. 4, Japanese alternative/indie singer-songwriter Mitski released the album “Laurel Hell” to all music streaming platforms. “Laurel Hell” is the first album Mitski has released since 2018 and consists of 11 short, but memorable, songs.

Mitski released her first album “Lush” in 2012 and has been performing ever since. (Courtesy of WikiCommons)

“The album was very coherent but also very different than what I expected,” said Grace Deane, junior. “It had this really cool 80’s pop music feel, but also incorporated the classic sadness of ‘Mitski’ that everyone loves.”

Although Mitski has been putting music out since 2012, the artist rose to fame in 2018, with the song “Nobody,” which gained popularity on the social media app TikTok. Since then, she has achieved a lot of success and attained a very dedicated fan base. 

Fans of Mitski agree that her serene voice and incredible production is what draws them to her music. Albums such as “Bury Me at Makeout Creek” feature a mix of a somber sound and upbeat melodies which is what makes her music so unique. This balance is also seen in her newest 2022 album. 

“Her style is very distinct,” said Jenna Zhao, a fan of Mitski. “Her lyrics are not general at all, they are very personal and relatable.”

Another theme present in Mitski’s music is the raw emotion she pours into her lyrics. For example, previous songs have painted pictures of intense feelings of grief and heartbreak through simple details like the trees during spring or her room at night. In “Laurel Hell,” the first song on the album- “Valentine, Texas-” reads as a short poem, consisting of only 14 lines; But diving deeper into the meaning behind her lyrics, she sings very specific feelings about her dreams of becoming a musician, and later ends the song with the idea that she hopes her dreams can float away.

This album consistently brings up the concept of “lost dreams,” and the desire to step away from the things you love most in the world. For the past few years, Mitski has opened up about her struggles in the music industry and the expectations of being part of a record label, still, she managed to turn her anger and stress into a vulnerable album to which her fans can all relate to. 

“There is something about her lyricism that sets her apart from other artists,” said Delaney Kemp, junior. “It is really refreshing to hear someone express things that you don’t often see people expressing.”

My personal favorite songs on the album:

#1: Valentine, Texas 

The first song on the album- Valentine, Texas- sets up the record with a very familiar Mitski-esque sound, eerie and quiet. As the song progresses, it quickly picks up the pace, revealing a feeling of hope and optimism, then it ends on a more solemn note. To me, “Valentine Texas” encaptures the rollercoaster of feelings involved with chasing one’s dreams. 

Ranking: 9/10

Favorite Lyrics:

Where clouds like mountains, clouds look like mountains

Let’s drive out to where dust devils are made

By dancing ghosts as they kick up clouds of sand

Where clouds like mountains, clouds look like mountains” 


#2- Everyone 

The fourth track on the album, “Everyone,” serves as one of my favorite songs on the album for a myriad of reasons. When I first listened to this song, it felt as though Mitski was singing alone in a dark echoey hallway. This song’s energy obviously contrasts with the title “Everyone,” as it talks about all of the fame and attention she has gained while having a complete sense of isolation in the way she sings; Her voice is not overpowered by loud guitar riffs, or chaotic production, it’s just her and the story she needs to tell. 

Rating: 8/10

My favorite lyrics: 

“Sometimes I think I am free

Until I find I am back in line again.”


#10- I Guess

The tenth track on the album, “I Guess,” follows the pattern which Mitski has created: One sad song to follow an upbeat, optimistic song. “I Guess,” while at first glance may appear to be a common breakup song, can be interpreted in many different ways. When first listening to it, I thought Mitski was able to capture the feeling of grief perfectly in just a few lines: “I guess, I guess

I guess this is the end. I’ll have to learn to be somebody else.” Her lyrics are so specific yet so easily applicable to many different situations. My favorite part of this song was the dream-like production that accompanied her voice, it made it seem as though she’s grateful for whatever grief she has been through. 

Rating: 9/10

“[The Lyrics] resonates with people because of the emotion in her voice and the idea of going after something that you ultimately know will fail,” Deane said. 

Mitski’s “Laurel Hell” is a true indication of the power of music. Through just 11 songs, each no more than 14 lines, this album accurately portrays the wide range of emotions we go through when experiencing grief, loneliness, and uncertainty in our lives. 

To listen to her album, visit