Ahead of Mitski’s new album Be The Cowboy, Mitski has released a music video for the second single “Nobody”. I first heard this track a month ago, closing out Mitski’s set at NON-COMM. I was struck by how different it is than her previous work, in everything but the sentiment. She ventures farther up the fretboard on this track, upping the tempo to create a perfect bop while the chorus, only the word “nobody,” hints at a darker side. The song builds in its subtle eeriness, an offsetting key change near the end creating unease while the chorus fades in and out. The song perfectly collides pop and disco with Mitski’s self-reflective nature. Think “crying-but-dancing”.
The music video for the track is just as eerie, directed by Christopher Good over the course of five days. Feeling as surreal and claustrophobic as a St. Vincent video, it’s full of symbolic easter eggs, as Mitski says, “I’ve never been able to take this much time to shoot a video, so it was wonderful to have the space to get the details right, as well as actually hang out and have fun with everyone involved. This video made me fall unexpectedly in love with Kansas City.”
It also ties in several themes I’ve seen before in Mitski’s videos, breaking the fourth wall and a fascination with the hand. The tone of the song is perfectly encapsulated in the shot of Mitski singing to a hairbrush in her robe, surrounded by cardboard cutouts with their faces scratched off. By the end of the video, she steps off the set, just as in the video for “Your Best American Girl,” and takes the place of the director’s chair, labeled “Nobody” as well. While this may have been simply a title card for the video, it also may imply that she holds that same title, despite being in the seat of power.
Mitski will release her new album, Be The Cowboy, on August 17th via Dead Oceans (pre-order here), and tour North America surrounding its release, including a stop at Union Transfer on October 19th. Check out the WXPN Concert Calendar for more info.
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