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The Land Is Inhospitable and So Are We by Mitski 

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Conn Coll chapter.

Album Review

Released – September 15,2023

For those of you who don’t know, Mitski just released her album, The Land Is Inhospitable and So Are We. This is a big deal in itself because she was thinking about leaving the industry altogether. She hasn’t released a single piece of work in five years, and was unsure of whether to come back. Her new piece is indelible, something which has been burned into my brain for the last three days. She touches on the power we all hold to create our own lives and the way love and loss coalesce in one’s life. 

She released the first track, “Bug Like an Angel” on July 26th. Mitski is known for experimenting with the ways that unexpected sounds can breathe life into a song. This song is about learning how to deal with addiction and brings with it a sense of openness in the work we all have to do as human beings. The lyricism in this song is simple, showing images of bug’s stuck to the bottom of whiskey glasses and sticker’s stuck on the floor, but it brings with it an air of simplicity and care. However, breaking into the bridge is a chorus of voices complementing and harmonizing with Mitski, which makes this song sound forgiving, as well as self-aware. As it ends, she breathes in as she states a line which I feel encompasses much of this album: “the wrath of the devil/Was also given him by God”. There is so much emotion and care given to this one song, and that is only expanded over the course of the album. 

The entirety of this album is cohesive, bringing images of buffalo’s and hound dogs, small-town rural life, and the understanding of what we all have to lose on this earth. She brings a new understanding of alt-folk, adding intensive lyrical melodies and soft vocals to various instrumentals. Each song conveys a certain anxiety and loss, but is entangled with a soft awareness that this is the loss that we hold in our reach. “Buffalo Replaced” paints a picture of a small southern town and the hope that keeps a person going. The song “Heaven” yields an image of love that most could not portray, so clearly in the line, “Your low warm voice curses/As you find the string to strike within me.” She portrays the beauty of love while showing the worry that the darkness of love can come at any moment. “I Don’t Like My Mind” comes barrelling in with Mitski’s blunt truth and portrays the hard parts of being in an industry through the metaphor of eating a whole cake. “The Deal” is the most beautiful song on this album in my opinion. It beautifully contrasts “I Don’t Like My Mind” sonically, but shows the same truths that run through this album. She uses the cohesive, harmonic backing of the instrumental to make a deal with “nothing” asking, “Will somebody take this soul?” Her emotional vulnerability in this album makes it so powerful, matched with the motifs of the night and the moon. Her song “When Memories Snow,” matches the album cohesively, but does not reach the full complexity that the rest of the songs on the album do. “My Love Mine All Mine” tangles the moon up into its words again, creating a peaceful rhythmic song where Mitski asks the moon to take her heart and shine it down on earth. This song is the most gorgeous plea for love to last forever and brings with it the beauty of love and loss coinciding, yet again. “The Frost” matches the worry of being alone, incorporating the beauty of winter. “Star” showcases the feeling of love slipping away, as Mitski whispers and slowly builds her voice over the course of the song building to the verse of “I am yours no matter/That love’s gone.” This song shows Mitski’s ability to take such simple backing and combine them with vulnerable, complex lyrics, which effectively make the piece so intimate. 

The song, “I’m Your Man” is fiercely honest and shows the complexity of loving someone and knowing you might hurt them. She compares her love to a god and states, “I’ll betray you like a man.” She is able to eloquently voice these powerful emotions with a soft vulnerability which makes this song so impressive. As it fades out, she adds the sounds of a chorus and the sound of a dog’s barking, referencing the danger of romanticizing your love as “godlike.” The last song, “I Love Me After You,” perfectly completes the album and makes it so cohesive. She reflects on the power of holding oneself in high power, but loving something more. She gains this power in the last song, built up more and more as each song and encapsulated memory goes by. She states that she is “King of all the land.” This power she holds is so distant from feeling like a bug on the bottom of a glass. Her growth and the memories that make her land inhospitable are always inside of her. She is “King of all the land” because she rules her own life. She is the god of her art. This power, though seemingly inhospitable, is also what makes life so worthwhile and beautiful. Through this album, Mitski has created a beautiful and eloquent piece of work, which shows the entangled incongruity of being an artist and how loss and love can intertwine to make something beautiful.

Alexa LoSchiavo

Conn Coll '27

My name is Alexa LoSchiavo and I am a freshman at Connecticut College. I went to Stanton High School College Preparatory in Jacksonville, Florida. I have always loved reading since I was a kid and I enjoy writing. I love to do anything creative and anything in nature as well. I love going to the beach and hiking. I am very excited to write for Her campus this year.