“Happiness fucks you.” That’s how Mitski Miyawaki described her new album Puberty 2 in the press release that accompanied its announcement. “Happiness is up, sadness is down, but one’s almost more destructive than the other. When you realize you can’t have one without the other, it’s possible to spend periods of happiness just waiting for that other wave.” That pronouncement held true in the breakup narrative of lead single “Your Best American Girl,” but it’s made even more literal in album opener “Happy,” which casts happiness as a lover who promises commitment and then flees in the morning. “Happy came to visit me/ he bought cookies on the way/ I poured him tea and he told me/ it’ll all be okay/ Well I told him I’d do anything/ to have him stay with me/ so he laid me down/ and I felt happy/ come inside of me,” Mitski sings in the song’s opening lines. And then: “I was in the bathroom/ I didn’t hear him leave/ I locked the door behind him/ and I turned around to see/ all the cookie wrappers/ and the empty cups of tea/ well I sighed and mumbled to myself/ again I have to clean.” Sonically, the song follows an opposite trajectory, building from eerie metallic clattering and mournful whispers to an exultant explosion of guitar and saxophone. By the end, though, the excitement has died down and the eerie clattering returns, as it always does. Listen.
Puberty 2 is out 6/17 via Dead Oceans.