Mitski announces new LP ‘Laurel Hell,’ shares new single “The Only Heartbreaker”

Mitski returned with a new single "Working for the Knife," last month, and now she's announced a new album! Laurel Hell, the follow-up to 2018's excellent Be The Cowboy, is due out February 4, 2022 via Dead Oceans (pre-order on red vinyl). "Laurel Hell is a term from the Southern Appalachians in the US, where laurel bushes basically grow in these dense thickets, and they grow really wide," Mitski told Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1. "And I mean, I've never experienced it myself, but when you get stuck in these thickets, you can't get out. Or so the story goes. And so there are a lot of Laurel Hells in America, in the south, where they're named after the people who died within them because they were stuck. And so the thing is, laurel flowers are so pretty. They just burst into these explosions of just beauty. And I just, I liked the notion of being stuck inside this explosion of flowers and perhaps even dying within one of them."

She also told Zane Lowe that it's the "longest album process" she's ever been through, continuing, "a lot of these songs are written, you know, 2018, and then the demoing process started January 2019 before everything. And then I really thought that it would be done sooner. It just, it was really hard to make anything during the pandemic. And so it's just like we started recording May 2020, and then just kept mixing up until May of this year. It just took so long... and this album went through so many iterations. Me and the producer, Patrick Hyland, just kept finding different sounds. At some point, it was a country record. At some point, it was a punk record. And then towards the end, just because we were mixing during the pandemic and I just got this feeling, even though a lot of the songs are sad and this one is, as well, I need something that's peppy, that's this feeling of we are doing well. And I thought, okay, the eighties, eighties dance, right when everyone was in that bubble and everyone was feeling great. Everyone just needed a pick me up, including myself. I just needed something that was like, I just need to dance. And that's where the sound came from."

Mitski has shared a new single from the album, "The Only Heartbreaker," which you can stream below. She co-wrote it with Semisonic's Dan Wilson, who has also worked with Adele, The Chicks, and lots of others. It's the first song in her discography to have a co-writer, and she told Zane Lowe that "it's because this song was this puzzle that I couldn't solve. And I was just sitting on it forever. I have so many iterations of it. Nothing felt right. And right when I was stewing over it, I was actually in LA, doing co-write sessions for other artists. And we had this one day, or I had this one day with Dan Wilson. I had every intention to write for somebody else, but then I just sat down at his piano, and I was like, he's one of the best, smartest songwriters in the world. Maybe he can help me with this song. And so I brought the song to him, and it turned out he's really good. He helped me solve so many of the problems and kind of lead me out of the labyrinth of it. And yeah, I'm really glad that I took that chance with him."

About "The Only Heartbreaker," Mitski told Zane Lowe, "Well, I don't know if you've ever been in this position, but sometimes you are just the bad guy in the relationship. Sometimes you're the one who keeps making mistakes, who's breaking your favorite person's heart, and there's nothing you can do about it because you can't just suddenly be a better person. But I also wanted to capture, I'm not sure if I was able to, but I wanted to capture a deeper, sadder feeling. You kind of realize, oh, maybe I'm the one always making mistakes because I'm the one always trying, and I'm the one who ends up looking… I’m the one who's always looking ugly in the relationship because I'm the only one revealing myself, you know? So I was hoping the first chorus was sincere. Like, I'm the bad guy, I'm the only heartbreaker. And the second chorus was hopefully ironic. Like, sure, I'll be the only bad guy in this relationship." Stream it below.

Mitski is going on tour with CHAI, SASAMI, and MICHELLE in 2022. See all dates below.

Pre-order Laurel Hell on red vinyl, and get Be The Cowboy and Puberty 2 on cassette, in the BV store.

Mitski - Laurel Hell Tracklist
1. Valentine, Texas
2. Working for the Knife
3. Stay Soft
4. Everyone
5. Heat Lightning
6. The Only Heartbreaker
7. Love Me More
8. There’s Nothing Left For You
9. Should’ve Been Me
10. I Guess
11. That’s Our Lamp

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