Mitski lets you in close.
Her incredible new album Puberty 2 is full of tracks that are intimate both in their subject matter — with the Brooklyn-based songwriter singing of incredibly personal pain and anxiety — and in their production. The singer’s main mode throughout is a soft, mumbled vocal delivery that leaves listeners leaning in to hear and understand her better. This leads to big moments of shock when she starts performing for the back of the room in tracks like “Your Best American Girl” and “My Body’s Made of Crushed Little Stars,” but also makes room for incredible moments of intimacy when she keeps her tone level on tracks like album closer “Burning Hill.”
Now, music video director Bradley Grey has done the seemingly impossible and made a video that’s even more close-in than the song. The camera rarely gets more than a few feet from the singer throughout and frequently is so close that the screen becomes an unfocused blur of skin and fabric. Mitski said in a press release that that closeness was by design and her seeming comfort with the camera was no act.
“The director and I spent a weekend just driving around New York and Pennsylvania while the camera kept running, and most of the time I’d forget I was being filmed. It felt like a vacation, but it was also quite emotional, as I was thinking about the song and what it means to me now while jumping in rivers and driving down dirt lanes.”
It could be deeply uncomfortable, if the underlying music of Mitski wasn’t so inviting. Do yourself a favor and check it out up top.