Mitski established herself as an artist to watch with her 2016 album Puberty 2, enough so that she went on the road with Lorde and Run The Jewels. Now she’s ready to follow up that success with some more: Today, she’s announced that her fifth album, Be The Cowboy, will be out on August 17 via Dead Oceans. Accompanying the announcement is the orchestral and electronic lead single, “Geyser,” which is barely longer than two minutes, and it spends that whole time building up to an epic and booming payoff.
Mitski says that the new record is more narrative than her past work, and that she strove to create an intimate atmosphere:
“For this new record, I experimented in narrative and fiction. [I had in mind] a very controlled icy repressed woman who is starting to unravel. Because women have so little power and showing emotion is seen as weakness, this ‘character’ clings to any amount of control she can get. Still, there is something very primordial in her that is trying to find a way to get out. […] [Producer Patrick Hyland and I kept returning to] the image of someone alone on a stage, singing solo with a single spotlight trained on them in an otherwise dark room. For most of the tracks, we didn’t layer the vocals with doubles or harmonies to achieve that campy ‘person singing alone on stage’ atmosphere.”
She also says the record is about her reconnecting with her feelings: “I had been on the road for a long time, which is so isolating, and had to run my own business at the same time. A lot of this record was me not having any feelings, being completely spent but then trying to rally myself and wake up and get back to Mitski.”
Watch the video for “Geyser” above, and below, check out the Be The Cowboy album art and tracklist, as well as her upcoming tour dates.