11 Songs, 31 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Puberty is a game of emotional pinball: hormones that surge, feelings that ricochet between exhilarating highs and gut-churning lows. That’s the dizzying, intoxicating experience Mitski evokes on her aptly titled fourth album, a rush of rebel music that touches on riot grrrl, skeletal indie rock, dreamy pop, and buoyant punk. Unexpected hooks pierce through the singer/songwriter’s razor-edged narratives—a lilting chorus elevates the slinky, druggy “Crack Baby,” while her sweet singsong melodies wrestle with hollow guitar to amplify the tension on “Your Best American Girl.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

Puberty is a game of emotional pinball: hormones that surge, feelings that ricochet between exhilarating highs and gut-churning lows. That’s the dizzying, intoxicating experience Mitski evokes on her aptly titled fourth album, a rush of rebel music that touches on riot grrrl, skeletal indie rock, dreamy pop, and buoyant punk. Unexpected hooks pierce through the singer/songwriter’s razor-edged narratives—a lilting chorus elevates the slinky, druggy “Crack Baby,” while her sweet singsong melodies wrestle with hollow guitar to amplify the tension on “Your Best American Girl.”

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Ratings and Reviews

4.7 out of 5
48 Ratings
48 Ratings
Whacked Cat

Wow! Just WOW!

Heard “Your Best American Girl” on the radio and was so captured by that one song that I went back and listened to Mitski’s previous work. Immediately purchased every album she has put out so far. What incredible music! So beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time. Some of Mitski’s previous work kind of reminds me of Tori Amos (especially during her Little Earthquakes/Under the Pink years) which is also amazing music. Anyone who hasn’t taken the time to listen to all of Mitski’s work so far, it’s an absolute must for anyone who appreciates great, thoughtful music.

Eglib

No, You're Crying.

Listening to the album all the way through was like a chronological memory trip through my past romantic relationships and occasions of obsession. Mitski reminds me of how I used to feel about love. "Puberty2" Leaves me weeping, in a love-letter-writing mood, and all together more joyful.

HausPalmer

In love with this

Mitski's sound is everything I didn't know I needed until I heard her. I'm in love with this album and all of her other work. 15/10 <3

About Mitski

A singer and songwriter known for both candid lyrics and a catchy yet volatile version of indie rock, Mitski is short for Mitski Miyawaki. A onetime music major, her first two records were school projects in 2012 and 2013. Her label debut, the more emotionally charged Bury Me at Makeout Creek, saw her picking up a guitar for the first time in 2014. Mitski's itinerant childhood and themes of identity and belonging factored into that album and songs such as "Your Best American Girl," a streaming hit from her 2016 LP, Puberty 2. The latter marked her Top 20 debuts on Billboard's independent and alternative charts.

Born in Japan to an American father and Japanese mother, Miyawaki grew up moving between no fewer than 13 countries on multiple continents before eventually settling in New York City for college. She had just begun writing songs soon after getting her high-school diploma in Turkey (her earliest completed song, "Bag of Bones," appeared on her first album). After enrolling at New York's Hunter College to study film, she decided to pursue music instead and transferred to SUNY Purchase. It was there that Mitski made her first two records, 2012's piano-based LUSH and 2013's Retired from Sad, New Career in Business, her junior and senior school projects. The second album was an ambitious one that made use of a 60-piece student orchestra. The projects, combined with completing her degree while working outside jobs, left Mitski exhausted, a state that heavily influenced her third record, Bury Me at Makeout Creek. Unlike her previous albums, it was recorded mostly in makeshift home studios with friends. It also represented a move away from her classical piano background, exchanging it for raw, impulsive guitar. Bury Me at Makeout Creek arrived via Double Double Whammy in 2014.

In late 2015, Mitski signed with the independent label Dead Oceans, which released Puberty 2 in June 2016. Featuring the streaming hit "Your Best American Girl," the album was supported by a North American and European tour that kicked off at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas. Puberty 2 went on to receive widespread critical acclaim, placing in the Top 25 of year-end lists by publications such as Rolling Stone, SPIN, and Entertainment Weekly. It also found commercial success, landing on Billboard's alternative, rock, independent, and Heatseekers albums charts. She followed it in 2018 with Be the Cowboy, her third straight album with producer Patrick Hyland. ~ Marcy Donelson

HOMETOWN
Japan
BORN
September 27, 1990

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