Mitski – “Bug Like An Angel”

Mitski – “Bug Like An Angel”

Time for a pivot? Mitski announced her new album The Land Is Inhospitable And So Are We over the weekend in simple, plainspoken fashion, without any of the pageantry that characterized 2022’s Laurel Hell and its accompanying tour. The album’s lead single is similarly understated, though not without some grand flourishes.

Opening track “Bug Like An Angel” is mostly quite minimal, pairing Mitski’s voice with acoustic guitar and an occasional bed of bass and keyboards that lend some dynamism to the music without raising the temperature all that much. The main exception to that pattern is the 17-person chorale that kicks in at strategic moments. Arranged by Mitski and comprising various voices from Nashville and LA, the choir is reportedly a fixture of The Land Is Inhospitable And So Are We. So is an orchestra arranged and conducted by Drew Erickson — not every song is quite so stripped-down, it seems — as well as a live band in the studio, a first for Mitski. A press release bills this as her “most sonically expansive, epic, and wise album to-date.”

The lyrics in “Bug Like An Angel” are sung from the perspective of a character who finds a kind of alluring freedom at rock bottom. She concludes, “I try to remember/ The wrath of the devil/ Was also given him by God.” In director Noel Paul’s music video, that narrator is depicted as a woman gracefully staggering outside a bar, embraced and ultimately repelled by Mitski and her choir. Watch below.

01 “Bug Like An Angel”
02 “Buffalo Replaced”
03 “Heaven”
04 “Don’t Like My Mind”
05 “The Deal”
06 “When Memories Snow”
07 “My Love Mine All Mine”
08 “The Frost”
09 “Star”
10 “I’m Your Man”
11 “I Love Me After You”

The Land Is Inhospitable And So Are We is out 9/15 on Dead Oceans.

Ebru Yildiz

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