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The Evanstonian

The news site of Evanston Township High School's student newspaper

The Evanstonian

The news site of Evanston Township High School's student newspaper

The Evanstonian

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Sullivan Sisters bring bluegrass to Evanston
Sullivan Sisters bring bluegrass to Evanston
Marin Ubersox, In-Depth Editor • February 22, 2024
Actors Gymnasium has served as a core part of Evanstons arts scene since it began 29 years ago.
Evanston's Actors Gymnasium: 29 years of risk-taking, mentorship
Nadira Bumi, Staff Writer • February 22, 2024
On the cutting edge
On the cutting edge
Long before she was cracking up crowds on improv’s premier stage at Second City, Claire McFadden spent her days in Evanston getting her first taste of improv and sketch comedy. (Photo courtesy of Claire McFadden)
Second City's resident 'wild card' puts jokes first
Sam Froum, Arts & Entertainment Editor • December 21, 2023

New Mitski album sheds light on her love of life

New indie album soars in popularity, invokes feelings of nostalgia with deeply artistic lyrics
New+Mitski+album+sheds+light+on+her+love+of+life
Olivia Tankevicius

Popular indie alternative artist Mitski has announced her retirement from music numerous times, with her last album, Laurel Hell, rumored to be her last. However, to the excitement of her fans, she has returned to the studio once again with her groundbreaking seventh album The Land is Inhospitable and So Are We. The single Bug Like an Angel debuted Aug. 23 with the album announced that same day. The album is made up of 11 tracks and runs 32 minutes long.

Lyrically, the album is beautiful with themes of loneliness and nostalgia intertwining to instill those very feelings into its listeners. In the song When Memories Snow an extended metaphor stretches across the whole song, “When memories snow/And cover up the driveway/ I shovel all those memories/ Clear the path to drive to the store/ And when memories melt I hear them in the drainpipe/ Drippin’ through the downspout/As I lie awake in the dark.” Like snow, memories can stack up and become unbearable, and Mitski is expressing her desire to escape and forget her memories but being unable to. In the song The Frost, loneliness is again referenced. In the first verse she sings, “But me, I was hidin’, or forgotten, the only one left/Now the world is mine alone” This verse adds to the theme of loneliness popping up throughout the album often coming hand in hand with the motif of winter.

Mitski utilizes many motifs to convey themes in the album. In songs like Heaven, Bug Like an Angel, and I’m Your Man, motifs of god, heaven and angels are used to convey Mitski’s doubt in humanity and herself. She sings lyrics such as “You believe me like a god/I destroy you like I am,” in I’m Your Man and, “I try to remember the wrath of the devil/was also given him by God” in Bug Like an Angel. Mitski compares herself to God, to having the highest amount of power over someone and hurting them with that power, but she later suggests doubt by questioning if God is real at all because of the pain she feels. If God was real, why would she suffer so much? Mitski doesn’t feel like she deserves the anguish she’s going through, causing her to feel uncertainty around God’s existence.

The album is not just well written but musically immaculate. Often, Mitski’s voice is the sole focus in her music, with toned down guitars being strummed in the background. In The Land is Inhospitable and So Are We Mitski explores new methods, with a 17 person choir and full orchestra making their way into the album. Mitski’s voice, from an objective standpoint, is beautiful. At times, it can take on an almost entrancing magical quality, while at other times it is something on the other side of the spectrum, more deep and sultry. Sometimes it can even be both, like in My Love Mine All Mine.

My Love Mine All Mine is indisputably the gem of the album, having already gained popularity on social media as a fan favorite. The song is beautiful and melancholic but also filled with gratitude, as she repeats the lines “My love is mine all mine” throughout the song. Although simple, these lines are impactful. Despite the pain romantic love has caused her she claims the love she gives to others is hers rather than something another person owns. An otherwise heart wrenching album rings with hope, ensuring the listener that regardless of her struggles Mitski is still happy and grateful for the love she experiences.

Mitski is an undoubtedly talented artist, the combination of her unique voice and her lyrics makes her music stand out. She has a truly unique way with words, her music filled with artfully crafted metaphors. The success of Mitski as an artist is undeniable, with Iggy Pop even calling her, “the most advanced American songwriter I know.” Mitski herself is in a better place than her old music suggests, telling NPR, “I was at a point where everything around me felt completely dark. And I realized that if there’s no light around me, it’s kind of up to me to be the light for myself. And I think that light is love for me as long as I just hold on to my love for people, for the world, for getting to live.”

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About the Contributors
Perrine Tran, Staff Writer
Hi! I’m Perrine Tran (she/her). I’m a sophomore and it's my first year writing for The Evanstonian. I'm a writer in the Arts and Entertainment section of the paper. I like The Evanstonian because I’m able to write about things I find interesting and it's a great way to stay connected with the community. Outside of The Evanstonian I play violin in a chamber group and orchestra at MYAC. In my free time I read, listen to music, and bake cookies.
Hey! My name is Olivia Tankevicius (they/them). I’m a sophomore, and this is my second year as an artist for the paper! Being part of The Evanstonian staff has allowed me to take my hobby and use it to contribute to my school community, an opportunity I am so grateful for. Around ETHS, you’ll find me acting in theater, and dancing on the ETHS team. Outside of school I love to crochet, dance at another studio, and take really cute pictures of my cat!
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