Live Concert Photography: Mitski at Market Hotel 11/22/16
New York based, indie rock artist Mitski writes music that is intertwined with her most personal experiences. The title of her most recent album, Puberty 2 calls to mind the stage of life we all collectively experienced at some point growing up and which most of would not wish to repeat. To imply that this awkward, vulnerable phase has returned for a second round is humorous in a dark, kind of twisted way. We get the sense that Mitski is contending with issues she believes she should have moved forward from a long time ago. She implies that the self-doubts and identity searching we grappled with early on are in truth not confined to adolescence.
Pleasant melodies are often tinged with dark undertones; in the perhaps misleading track entitled “Happy” the emotional state is personified into a fleeting visitor. Happiness might be present for a bit, but the higher one climbs the more one has to fall, and thus when “Happy” leaves, all one is left with is a sense of absence and longing, along with remnants to tidy up.
In “Your Best American Girl”, Mitski writes, “I guess I couldn’t help trying to be your best American girl,” acknowledging the futility of trying to fit herself into the picture of an ideal couple, an American boy and his American girl. As a child, Mitski’s family was constantly moving, and her sense of being an outsider pervades through her lyrics.
It’s likely easy for most of us to see fragments of ourselves in Mitski’s narrative and she draws her audience together with these shared moments. Mitski concluded the US phase of her Puberty 2 tour with a stop at Market Hotel.