This morning, the indie rock singer songwriter brings us to the end of the night, long after the lights have come up, long after the doors are locked, long after everybody else has moved on, and all that remains are “Two Slow Dancers.” The song is withdrawn and contemplative, a solitary Rhodes-sounding keyboard as the scene is set with an estranged couple reunited in a high school gymnasium and reflecting how “it would be so much easier if we were young again.” Continue reading →
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”. Continue reading →
Underneath neon lights and in front of a sunset on a Philadelphia skyline, local band Harmony Woods performed for the first of Spruce Street Harbor Park’s 2018 Waterfront Sessions. The air smelled of beer, local food trucks, and the miscellaneous scents of the Delaware River, and as Sofia Verbilla, front-woman for the four-piece band, noted: “I’ve seen so many dogs and babies in the last hour! This is why I do what I do!” An incredibly peaceful and joyous night of amazing music, it was a perfect way to start off the summer-long series, featuring all local Philly bands and free admission.
The Key’s own John Vettese warmed up the crowd for a couple hours with an amazing DJ set featuring tracks from Kississippi, Maggie Rogers, Caroline Rose, Lauryn Hill, Sylvan Esso, Japanese Breakfast, and an infuriatingly smooth transition from Hop Along to Daft Punk. He concluded with the almost-too-on-the-nose track “The Walk” by Oso Oso for Harmony Woods to walk onto.
Harmony Woods began with the opener of their 2017 album Nothing Special, “Vignette # 1” leading into “The Best Things”. Their sound was surprisingly clear for an outdoor venue, the rough rhythm guitar of Sofia Verbilla punctuated by the sharper lead guitar provided by Chance Halter, smooth bass from Hank Byerly, and dynamic drums by David Juro. Sofia’s vocals were stellar as well, standing out among the instrumentation, particularly on their hit single “Renovations,” which rises from hold-your-breath serene to breathtakingly anthemic within three minutes. Their set also featured standout tracks “Jenkintown-Wyncote” and “Negro y Azul” with sparkling guitar riffs perfect to match the outdoor lighting and transportive descriptions of romance. Continue reading →
Some consider her the queen of indie rock — and they may just be right. Still gliding on the success of her 2016 breakout album Puberty 2, Mitski recently announced her next record, Be The Cowboy, which will be released August 17. The first string of full-band tour dates behind the new record will take Mitski through the UK and Europe, but lucky for us her just-announced North American tour starts off right here in Philly, with a Union Transfer show on October 19. Singer-songwriter Jessica Lea Mayfield will open the show. Continue reading →
“Hi. My name’s Mitski. It’s spelled M-I-T-S-K-I, if you want to google me.” That’s how the inimitable Mitski opened her set tonight at NonComm, but it quickly became clear that most of the audience knew exactly who she was. And as NPR’s Bob Boilen pointed out when he introduced the set, even if you’ve never seen Mitski before, she is the kind of performer who will immediately grab your attention and never let go.
When Mitski’s name first appeared on this year’s NonComm lineup, I was a bit perplexed. She hadn’t released new music since Puberty 2 (a Key top album of 2016), but the mystery was solved with the announcement of her forthcoming record Be The Cowboy, out August 17. Mitski released the new album’s first single “Geyser” and its video earlier this week.
Though “Geyser” wasn’t a part of tonight’s set, Mitski treated us to selections of her previous work, including Bury Me at Makeout Creek standouts “Francis Forever” and “Townie.” Several songs off Puberty 2 were also in the mix; notably “Thursday Girl” and that album’s lead single and emotional whirlwind “Your Best American Girl,” a song so poignant that I’m not kidding when I say I studied it in a college literary theory class. Continue reading →
An anticipated set during night one of WXPN’s Non-COMM convention is from indie rocker Mitski Miyawaki, who just announced her latest full-length, Be The Cowboy, out August 17th via Dead Oceans Records. The album’s leadoff single ”Geyser,” released yesterday, truly emphasizes the intensity of Mitski’s vocals. It delivers a haunting, yet serene atmosphere — a feeling reflected in the music video, which takes place on a beach with dark skies and Mitski dead center and alone, dancing and gesturing for the camera. Continue reading →
Mitski‘s rendition of Billie Holiday’s “I’m a Fool to Want You” is one of many exclusive cuts featured on the new benefit album 7 Inches for Planned Parenthood; it is transformative, ethereal and sounds all sorts of vintage. The cover sounds like it could be the 1951 track with its slow tempo and melancholic vocals, but Mitski also channels Holiday’s original intention of a classically sad love song into her modern synthesized soundscape. It’s ethereal, heavy and one of the coolest songs on the album. Continue reading →
Teenage strange-pop superstar Lorde is coming to Wells Fargo this April 2nd, which is some pretty flippin’ cool stuff on its own. But nope, someone must’ve said, we must make it even more wildly awesome. And then they casually added Run the JewelsandMitski to the bill to completely rock the socks off of all the people. Continue reading →
“When I last came here I was opening for another band and I remember thinking that this was some huge stadium venue,” said Mitski Miyawaki from the stage at Union Transfer on Friday night. “But now, it seems like the perfect size.”
Mitski was wrong. The wide, cavernous hall of Union Transfer was nowhere near large enough to contain her, though I’m not so sure any venue would. There is filling a room, which Mitski indeed did for the duration of her long-ago sold out show, and then there is owning a room. Few artists working today display the kind of quiet command which has become her trademark, able to arrest as easily with a soft croon as an impassioned howl. Continue reading →
Indie rock goddess Mitski returns to Philadelphia tonight in another round of touring to support her latest album Puberty 2. The singer-songwriter has made her way through several local venues from our own World Cafe to First Unitarian Church to PhilaMOCA and more, and this time around she has graduated to headlining Union Transfer. Mitski’s cutting lyrics and powerful voice driven by electric guitar makes for an intimate live performance in both the quiet moments and in the loud no matter the size of the venue. The night will also be a hometown show for Philly-based opener Half Waif who will be on the road with Mitski for the duration of the tour. For more information on the sold out show, click here. Continue reading →