In ‘Two Slow Dancers’, the closing track of her upcoming fifth album ‘Be The Cowboy’, Mitski takes us back to the scene of a school dance, remarking how “it’s funny how they’re all the same”. It’s a song heaped in an arresting sense of nostalgia, telling the story of two old lovers who have reunited and are reflecting in the adolescent setting of a school gymnasium, trying to relive a moment they can’t get back.
“It would be a hundred times easier, if we were young again,” Mitski sings on the song’s chorus, and you can’t help but think that such a scene is metaphorical. ‘Two Slow Dancers’ conjures up that strange sense of distance you feel when being faced with a memory of a past self that seems so innocent and alien to the way you feel now, you can’t help but think you’re thinking of a stranger. “To think that we could stay the same…” she says repeatedly as the song ends, without finishing the sentence, almost like a sigh. Change is inevitable, for better or worse, and Mitski’s new track encapsulates that feeling in all its bittersweet wonder.