Mitski - Laurel Hell (Standard Black Vinyl)
Laurel Hell is a soundtrack for transformation, a map to the place where vulnerability and resilience, sorrow and delight, error and transcendence can all sit within our humanity, can all be seen as worthy of acknowledgment, and ultimately, love. “I accept it all,” she promises. “I forgive it all.” It cements Mitski’s reputation as an artist who possesses the power of turning our most savage and alienated experiences into the very elixir that cures them. “I wrote what I needed to hear. As I’ve always done.”
Mitski wrote many of the songs on Laurel Hell during or before 2018, and the album was finished being mixed in May 2021. It is the longest span of time Mitski has ever spent on a record, and a process that concluded amid a radically changed world. She recorded Laurel Hell with her longtime producer Patrick Hyland throughout the isolation of a global pandemic, during which some of the songs “slowly took on new forms and meanings, like seed to flower.” The album as a whole evolved “to be more uptempo and dance-y. I needed to create something that was also a pep talk.” Mitski explains. The tension that emerges between her refined but plaintive lyrics and the effervescent 1980s sound is a desperately needed infusion, and the work of a mature artist: an album that delivers nuanced profundity on a current of contagious dance beats. It is irresistible.
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