Mitski Makes A Powerful Return (In A Cowboy Hat) In 'Working For The Knife'

Mitski Makes A Powerful Return (In A Cowboy Hat) In 'Working For The Knife'

Something interesting happened yesterday. Early in the day, Mitski posted some teasers on social media hinting that a new song could be dropping in 24 hours or so. Then, Facebook and Instagram (and a bunch of related apps) all went down for several hours. I'm not saying these events are related — or that Adele's seemingly imminent return to the musical fore contributed — although there's definitely something to be mentioned about Mitski's growth as both an artist along with a world superstar, and why the arrival of new music from her signals an enormous moment.

Her power is on full display on "Working for the Knife," the self-probing new track she released today (October 5). It's not a barnburner or a dance-ready bop. Case in point, it's mid-tempo and confessional, though one of the biggest hooks during the song is the down-strummed fuzzy guitar on the chorus. This is Mitski we're talking about.

"Working for the Knife" finds her discussing her own staying power over rainy keyboards and appears to nod to her own legacy as a songwriter and performer in the public eye. "I used to think I'd be done by 20 / Right now at 29, the road ahead appears the same," she sings with resolve. "Though maybe at 30 I'll visualize a way to change / That I'm living for the knife."

The song was written by Mitski and recorded with help from her trusted collaborator Patrick Hyland, who also worked on 2014's Bury Me at Makeout Creek, 2016's Puberty 2, and 2018's Be the Cowboy. If she sings, "I habitually knew the world moves on / I just didn't know it would go on without me," that's exceptionally real, end-of-your-twenties sort of shit. I feel it deeply!

"Working for the Knife" arrives with a Zia Anger-directed visual that finds Mitski once again being the cowboy in an actual cowboy hat, though speedily losing it (and a long coat) for a baggy-sleeved blue efficiency outfit. The next few minutes are essentially Mitski's one-woman show, and she makes the majority by crawling through an auditorium at Albany's The Egg, stripping down and collapsing onstage, then seemingly losing her shit in the unforgiving gaze of the spotlight.

and also "Working for the Knife" comes news of a 2022 tour that'll find Mitski hitting both North America and Europe. It's a nice continuation of the live-show groundwork she's laid for the past decade, including most notably starting for Lorde in 2017 and 2018 on the Melodrama world tour — which brought Mitski legions of new fans. They also mark Mitski's first concerts since September 2019, so you could find all of the tour info right here.

Watch, listen, and experience "Working for the Knife" above.

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