TIDAL Rising: Mitski

TIDAL Rising: Mitski

Born in Japan and based in New York City, Mitski Miyawaki crafts gritty indie rock that bares an intensity befitting of her adoptive hometown.

Performing under her first name, the increasingly acclaimed 25-year-old on the rise entered the music world while studying at the SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Music, then self-releasing her first two studio albums. Soon earning the attention of Double Double Whammy records, Miyawaki put out Burry Me at Makeout Creek, a record that Pitchfork complimented as “a complex 10-song story [containing] some of the most nuanced, complex and articulate music that’s come from the indiesphere in a while.”

After releasing the acclaimed singles “Happy” and “Your Best American Girl,” both of which earned Pitchfork’s “Best New Music” distinction, Mitski dropped her eagerly anticipated album, Puberty 2, last Friday. It’s already been hailed as one of the best LPs of the year by the likes of Stereogum and others.

We got to know the TIDAL Rising artist a little better.

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Who is Mitski? Can you introduce yourself?

I write and perform my music, piano is my first instrument and what I started writing on, but now I mostly make “guitar music.”

When did you first get into music?

I was always into music.

Who were your musical heroes growing up?

M.I.A., Björk, Mariah Carey, Shiina Ringo, Jeff Buckley.

Name an album, artist or experience that changed your perspective on music?

Going to conservatory for music, and seeing people my age playing shows and putting out their own music, suddenly made it all seem more possible. Like “if they can do it, so can I.”

What’s the most unlikely band or artist that inspires your own music?

M.I.A. I sound nothing like her, but her spirit inspires me to keep creating and following my instincts.

What should we know about your new album, Puberty 2? How do you measure it to your debut?

I don’t know what’s considered my debut – I’ve put out three albums previous to Puberty 2 – but the first album came out very quietly, and I’ve been growing slowly ever since. I’m satisfied with my new album. I accomplished everything I’d wanted to for that record.

You created some noise with your wonderfully gory video for “Happy.” Can you talk about the song and how you and Maegan Houang came to visualize it?

That video in concept and creation was all Maegan, I can’t take credit for it. The song is about being exhausted by happiness that comes and goes.

What’s the best new song you discovered?

Ariana Grande’s “Dangerous Woman” is very satisfying.

What’s next for Mitski?

I’m going on tour.

And finally, if your music was a physical object what would it be?

It’s air. You don’t notice it, but when you need it it’s there.

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