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She’s back at it again ladies and gentlefolk: Mitski has burst back onto the music scene to save you from your average bout of seasonal depression and give you an even more poignant depressive episode. 

In her new single, Working for the Knife, Mitski serenades her fans with concerningly familiar subject matter. Her older music focused on being sad and disillusioned as a young person, now her latest piece presents the sadness and disillusionment she feels as an almost 30-year-old woman. 

When are you going to give us a break, queen? When is it our turn to be happy? 

On Oct. 4, Mitski reactivated her social media accounts after a two year dry spell to announce her new single to be released the next day. 

In a quick succession of posts, we soon discovered that Mitski will also be having a 2022 North American and EU/UK Tour. This will be her first set of performances since 2019 after she took a musical hiatus. 

The Washington, D.C. leg of the tour sold out quickly after the tickets went to general sale on Oct. 8. The concert venue, The Anthem, just added another night to accommodate the amount of fans in the area.

Mitski’s new song accompanies her usual cynical lyricism with stark instrumentals that make this song perfect for your sad girl autumn playlist. 

She laments saying, “I used to think I’d be done by twenty / Now at twenty-nine, the road ahead appears the same / Though maybe at thirty, I’ll see a way to change.” 

This piece is a testament to the idea that working through trauma and pain is a lasting process, not one that suddenly ends when you become an adult. The “road ahead” does not change unless you heal, increased social and physical capital can never fix that. 

Mitski emphasizes this idea with the song’s chorus, “I start the day high and it ends so low / ‘Cause I’m working for the knife.” 

This line suggests that she exists under the force of a metaphorical knife that is pressing down upon her. This could be interpreted as her struggles with mental illness, capitalism, growing old or any number of things. 

Mitski has always allowed her music to be interpretive and generally wants her fans to gather any theme from her lyrics that feels right to them. 

Will this single lead to the release of a full length album before the start of her tour? The world may never know, but we can hope. 

Mitski is an artist for any time of year, but something about the dreary sky and rotting fall leaves makes now better then ever for spiraling to some heartbreaking indie rock.

Isabel Thompson

American '23

Isabel Thompson is an undergraduate student at American University studying International Relations. She is involved with HerCampus American as well as the American University Chamber Singers. She enjoys journalism, Korean pop music, cute stationary, iced coffee, and studying languages.
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