December 1, 2014

LP: Mitski - Bury Me at Makeout Creek

Mitski's Bury Me at Makeout Creek is as defiant as it is vulnerable.

Bury Me at Makeout Creek by Brooklyn-based songwriter Mitski explodes from tender folk melodies into blown-out noise rock like a bat out of hell. There is a recklessness to this album that is both haunting and humbling. The emotional tenor lies somewhere in between a teenage bedroom and a house fire, with crushing lyrics like, “If your hands need to break more than trinkets in your room/You can lean on my arm as you break my heart.” Mitski’s lonely folk sentiment crashes up against mid-nineties rock aggression as the two genres deliberately collide.

Wrought with unexpected hair-pin turns, Bury Me at Makeout Creek is defiant yet vulnerable. Mitski’s convulsive voice shoots from trembling soprano to a rugged howl on the single “Townie”, a hot-blooded plea for “a love that falls as fast as a body from a balcony.” An unadorned bass line develops into organ-driven arias that swell with hymn-like crescendos on “First Love / Late Spring". Her layered compositions often start as simple chord progressions that snowball into heavily textured reveries like “Texas Reznikoff”, where the same song’s modest melody is suddenly thrust into a wall of distortion.

The album closes with “Last Words of a Shooting Star”, a forlorn, finger-picked folk song in which Mitski sings, “I am relieved that I left my room tidy/They’ll think of me kindly when they come for my things.” Part self-written eulogy, part love letter, Bury Me at Makeout Creek is a searing portrait of Mitski’s restless youth that at first seems far off from its titular Simpson’s reference: an episode where Milhouse gets hit by a bus and dies in Bart’s arms. With his last breath, Milhouse asks Bart to “bury me at Makeout Creek”, frozen forever in an unrequited teenage dream. But then again, maybe that’s the point.


Listen to Mitski on bandcamp.

Bryn Lovitt is an L.A.-bred Pisces who shares a birthday with Kurt Cobain and Patty Hearst, which she believes explains her perfectly. She spends her time freelance writing for several magazines and composing love songs for Jordan Catalano on a pink electric guitar.