If you’re not already on the bandwagon and you like good music, let me introduce you to indie-rock princess Mitski Miyawaki. A Japanese-American singer and songwriter, Mitski started her career by releasing albums during her studies at a music conservatory in New York. She’s found relatively recent success due to her mesmerizing voice, poetic lyrics, and incredibly relatable musical content. She was referred to by Iggy Pop as the “most advanced American songwriter [he knew].” If you want to dive into Mitski’s discography and learn what song to start with based on what’s relatable for you, read on.
If you’re feeling lonely: Nobody
Perhaps Mitski’s most well-known song, Nobody is the second single off her latest album, Be the Cowboy. She sings of loneliness and desperation for any hint of romantic affection.
Best line: and I don’t want your pity/I just want somebody near me
If you’re missing an ex: Francis Forever
Francis Forever is a song on Mitski’s third album, Bury Me at Makeout Creek. She captures the angst we all feel when we’re still holding on to old feelings – and when we can’t stand being without somebody.
Best line: I don’t know what to do without you/I don’t know where to put my hands
If you feel inadequate: Your Best American Girl
There’s been debate over whether Your Best American Girl is literal or metaphorical. It may either be talking about an actual relationship with a boy, but it has been speculated that it’s a metaphor for Mitski’s struggle to succeed in the American music industry as a woman of color. Either way, she captures the feeling of not being good enough, either for someone or something.
Best line: But big spoon, you have so much to do/and I have nothing ahead of me
If you’re worried about your future: My Body’s Made of Crushed Little Stars
My Body’s Made of Crushed Little Stars is Mitski’s most aggressive and punk rock release. She channels the post-college angst when she sings of being broke and worrying too much about work.
Best line: I wanna see the whole world/I don’t know how I’m gonna pay rent/I wanna see the whole world
If you’re a romantic with a crush: Me and My Husband
Another song off of Be the Cowboy, Me and My Husband seems to be about a fantasy relationship, where one imagines having somebody in their life to be there for them. We’ve all been there.
Best line: I am the idiot with a painted face/In the corner taking up space/But when he walks in, I am loved
If you’re feeling rebellious: Townie
Townie has a punk-rock energy and captures the desire for rebellion that most of us felt going into college. There’s a desire to rebel and be bad just for the sake of freedom. She sings of drinking, sex, self-destruction, and becoming her own person.
Best line: and I want a love that falls as fast/as a body from the balcony
If you’re longing to be happy again: Happy
The song Happy,a single off Mitski’s fourth album, Puberty 2, imagines happiness as a lover that comes and goes and takes advantage of her, leaving her when she needs him the most. This unsettling metaphor captures any troubled person’s relationship with happiness (Be prepared for the gore at the end of the music video).
Best line: and when you go take this heart/I’ll make no more use of it when there’s no more you
Mitski is an artist with a diverse portfolio of songs, most of which are relatable to all of us in one way or another. Take this as a beginner’s guide to Mitski, and have fun diving in to the rest of her discography and finding more songs that make you feel a certain way.