Indie rocker Mitski’s newest release, ‘Be The Cowboy,’ features her typical scope of tender ballads and easygoing pop tracks. But if her last album, ‘Puberty 2,’ spoke to a prevailing sense of youth and emotional immaturity, ‘Cowboy’ discusses the post-puberty time, a time of aging, anxiety, and feeling much, much older.
Tracks like ‘Two Slow Dancers’ and ‘Old Friend’ include repeated references to age, both actual and perceived age, and the nostalgic appeal of thinking back to school dances and the relative simplicity of middle-school romance.
‘Me and My Husband’ looks forward to an idyllic future, one that just sounds a little too good to be true, making the listener question the traditional ideas about what a relationship, and specifically a marriage, can and should be.
On the whole, ‘Be The Cowboy’ strives to overcome the anxieties of adult life, often straying from the popular musical subject matter of love and relationships. These are the songs of a woman who wants desperately to know what she wants, which may as well be a summary of the millenial generation.
The album doesn’t exactly break new ground, but it does cement Mitski as an important voice within the music industry as she brings diversity not just in terms of background but also in terms of the psychology behind her songwriting.