We are now less than a month away from Laurel Hell, the highly anticipated sixth studio album from America’s art rock queen Mitski. We’ve gotten quite a few early previews, including the high-quality singles ‘Working for the Knife’, ‘Heat Lightning’, and ‘The Only Heartbreaker’.
Now, we’re getting what is likely to be the final early take on the new LP with the fresh single ‘Love Me More’. Complete with the synths and drum machines that filled out the album’s previous singles, ‘Love Me More’ also comes complete with a monster chorus that is about as straightforward and poppy as Mitski has been since, well, ever.
“As ‘Love Me More’ was written pre-pandemic, lyrics like ‘If I keep myself at home’ had different meanings than what they would now, but I kept them on the album because I found that some of the sentiments not only remained the same, but were accentuated by the lockdown,” Mitski explains in a press release.
Adding: “‘Love Me More’ went through the most iterations out of all the songs on the album. It’s been too fast, too slow, and at some point, it was even an old style country song. Finally, I think because we had watched The Exorcist, we thought of Mike Oldfield’s ‘Tubular Bells’ and experimented with floating an ostinato over the chorus. As we steadily evolved the ostinato to fit over the chord progressions, we began to hear how the track was meant to sound.”
Despite the creepy inspirations, it’s hard to argue against the fact that the song has a hooky pop centre to it. Mitski explained that the song was the key indicator that Laurel Hell was going “to be more up-tempo and dance-y.” In classic songwriting form, she decides to contrast that bright infectious backing track with lyrics that focus on monotony, longing, and unfulfilled desires.
The idea of days simply repeating themselves over and over without any creative outlet was a theme also explored on ‘Working for the Knife’, and Mitski seems to be keyed into the repetitious life that most normal people tend to live day after day. She’s lucky enough to be exempt from that kind of lifestyle, but her fascination with the subject is sure to connect with quite a few listeners, especially when the lyrics can now (unintentionally) be connected to the insular way of life that Covid has imposed on us all.
Whatever the rest of Laurel Hell sounds like, it’s worth noting the rarity of every single preview single of an album connecting. It’s just math: it doesn’t happen. But all four of Mitski’s singles are captivating and eminently replayable, which has only served to ratchet up the anticipation for Laurel Hell exponentially. February can’t come soon enough.
Check out the video for ‘Love Me More’ down below. Laurel Hell is set for a February 4th release.