Mitski’s ‘Stay Soft’ Is More Rollicking Synth-Pop From Her New Album ‘Laurel Hell’

The music internet can rejoice — new music from Mitski has officially arrived. Her latest album, Laurel Hell, follows up her 2019 project Be The Cowboy, which created so much fervor among fans that the songwriter left the internet completely for a quite a while after it came out, just to get some peace. Perhaps said overzealous fans learned their lesson, as the reception for Laurel Hell has been decidedly cooler.

Indie superstardom has definitely shifted a lot over the last decade or two, and as our own critic Steven Hyden noted in his review of Mitski’s new album, pop star level attention on someone who came up as an independent artist can be a challenging crossroads to navigate. “If she stays, does she want to be a mainstream star who performs in stadiums with other mainstream stars, or does she want to be an enigmatic cult indie hero?” he writes. “Laurel Hell suffers from not resolving these issues before now.”

Tonight’s newest single, “Stay Soft” does feel like it swings between two poles, a rollicking synth-pop melody and Mitski’s always-pristine alto vocals, but even when the song hits a crescendo on the chorus, it never really opens up to anything. The video, however, is a different story, as Mitski gives blood to a greedy Venus flytrap, gets kidnapped, and dances under the moonlight with her captors. She eventually gets free, but at a price. Check it out above.