Mitski, “I Will”

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On “I Will”, Mitski delivers a one-two punch of emotional impact and withdrawal.  The tension of sliding single-note bass melodies and a steady click-clack beat drums up a feelings-heavy build for which her music and performances are becoming increasingly known. The end, though, doesn’t give you the explosive reaction you might expect. Unlike the three other tracks we’ve heard from the almost-finally-here Bury Me at Makeout Creek, which range from shimmery sorrow pop to fuzzed out anger, this fourth single turns the amps down, stripping away the effects to give us a glimpse of emotional vulnerability.

It’s the simplicity of “I Will” that leaves room for us to put ourselves in the song, and therefore feel deeply connected to it and its writer. The song’s electric organ pulls us forward and backward, coming in waves against the constant drum line instead of washing over the whole track. First, the organ breaks the rising tension with a poppy melody right before Mitski plaintive cries “stay with me, hold my hand, there’s no need to be brave.” The second wave starts a mournful build as she sing “All I ever wanted is here”, delivering the line with a conflicting air of complete composure and internal franticness that makes you feel it more than you hear it.

Against sparse instrumentation from bass and drums, the dramatic organ sounds soothing at the same time it connotes some impending doom or valiant gesture from a character waiting in the wings. But that anticipated plot change is never realized. Instead the crescendo fades away, turning the song—without the context of the full album—into a mournful souvenir of something instead of a bridge between plot points in a bigger drama.

You can stream “I Will” below. Bury Me At Makeout Creek comes out 11/11 via Double Double Whammy and Mitski will hit the road with Johanna Warren a few days later. See tour dates below.

Mitski + Johanna Warren Tour

13 Brooklyn, NY @ Silent Barn
14 New Paltz, NY @ Team Love Ravenhouse Gallery
15 Annandale-on-Hudson, NY @ Bard College
17 Purchase, NY @ SUNY Purchase
18 Hudson, NY @ The Half Moon
19 Poughkeepsie, NY @ Vassar College
21 Troy, NY @ Ground Zero
22 Bennington, VT @ Bennington College
24 Amherst, MA @ Hampshire College
28 Williamsport, PA @ The Bullfrog
30 Baltimore, MD @ Metro Gallery

01 Ithaca, NY @ Cornell University
02 Rochester, NY @ Blue Brick Recordings
03 Buffalo, NY @ TBA
04 Pittsburgh, PA @ Cool Shoes
05 Philadelphia, PA @ TBA