Singer-songwriter and critically acclaimed indie darling Mitski has garnered tremendous praise for her ability to capture complex shades of human connection and isolation in song. While she is, without a doubt, one of the greatest musicians of our generation, a Mitski album is an emotional reckoning of unparalleled intensity and brutality. A Mitski album should come with a warning. Spotify should redirect you to your local depression hotline if you attempt to stream Puberty 2 more than twice in a seven-day period.
Mitski is aware of this.
So, with all that in mind, here are the top seven Mitski lyrics that will make you yearn for the lost warmth of human intimacy and companionship.
Texas is a land-locked state
It’s a little bit far away from the water
From the home that I’ve wanted to make
It somehow, in the city, you make it there
And you make it anywhere, anywhere
But I’ve been anywhere and it’s not what I want
I want to be still with you
“But wait,” you might say. “These are lovely lyrics that certainly make me miss the simple joy of human intimacy and companionship, but Texas isn’t a land-locked state.”
Mitski is aware of this, which is why she clarified that she wasn’t going for geographical accuracy as much as… oh. The warmth of human intimacy and companionship, for which we all yearn desperately.
I want a love that falls as fast as a body from the balcony
And I want to kiss like my heart is hitting the ground
There are times when I’ve been single for a while and I develop a big ol’ crush on someone I know isn’t good for me, but like, she’s so cute, and she’s so funny, and she’s so smart. And in those situations, there’s one side of my brain that wants to heed the warning signs, protect my heart, and proceed with caution – if I proceed at all.
The other side listens to Bury Me at Makeout Creek, remembers my desperate yearning for the warmth of human intimacy and companionship, and thinks, “Wow. Same. I do want a love that falls as fast as a body from the balcony. I do want to kiss like my heart is hitting the ground.”
Guess which side wins?
Oh if you’re going, take the train
So I can hear it rumble, one last rumble
And when you go, take this heart
I’ll make no more use of it when there’s no more you
“Happy” is a deceptive title, because this song is actually about Mitski personifying the concept of happiness as a fairweather lover who leaves before sunrise as you stare out your bedroom window at the above-ground subway tracks and sigh little white clouds into the cold night air and yearn, desperately, for the warmth of human intimacy and companionship.
Holding hands under the table
Meeting up in your bedroom
Making love to other people
Telling each other it’s all good
Kisses like pink cotton candy
Talking to everyone but me
I’m staying up late just in case
You come up and ask to leave with me
This song is for when you’re definitely way more invested than the other person but you’re so desperate with yearning for the warmth of human intimacy and companionship that you don’t want to risk losing them completely by asking for a deeper commitment so you just kind of :).
You’re the one
You’re all I ever wanted
I think I’ll regret this
This is the point in “Your Best American Girl” where you’re still sobbing from the first chorus and just when you think you could not possibly be crying any harder, she lays this one on you.
This song, like many Mitski songs, is a love song, but it’s a love song about “loving someone so much, and yet being from completely different backgrounds and not being able to do anything about it. You watch movies where the couple loves each other so much but can’t be together because of their fate or whatever, and when I was younger I thought that was so stupid… But then as I got older, it’s like, ‘Oh, I see.’ Sometimes life or your backgrounds just kind of get in the way, and there’s nothing you can really do about it.”
So, there you go. Sometimes you find the warmth of human intimacy and companionship and you just have to let it go, because your partner’s mother doesn’t approve of the way your mother raised you. Because your partner is trying to slot you into a narrative you don’t belong in. Because a million things. Life is hard. Love is hard. It’s all hard!
I don’t need the world to see
That I’ve been the best I can be
But I don’t think I could stand to be
Where you don’t see me
You know the show Adventure Time? And how they have those two characters, Princess Bubblegum and Marceline the Vampire Queen, who are deeply in romantic love? And how the network won’t let them be upfront about it? So they have to write a bunch of plotlines where Bubblegum and Marceline just pine for each other and yearn for the warmth of human intimacy and companionship? Or, I don’t know, bubblegum intimacy? Vampire companionship? Whatever.
Guess which song the showrunners of Adventure Time chose to soundtrack this tragic love story.
Ding, ding, ding.
1. I Will
Stay with me
Hold my hand
There’s no need
To be brave
Okay. Take a second to absorb that. Read it over. Take it in. Really think about it.
Now, are you ready for the kicker?
Someone once asked Mitski who she wrote these lyrics about – and I can’t find the interview or the tweet for the life of me, I’m so sorry. And do you know what she said? Do you know who Mitski wrote these lyrics for?
Herself. She said that “I Will” is a love song to herself. She wrote the words that she would want to hear from a future lover.
You know what? There is a lesson here. The warmth of human intimacy and companionship is nice and all, but loving yourself? Believing in your own inherent worth? Refusing to settle for anything less than what you deserve? Even better. So write your own damn love songs to your own damn self.
Thank you, Mother Mitski, for guiding us on this emotional journey.