Mitski Miyawaki has, over the past half a decade, become one of the most consistently promising songwriters in indie rock. Through LPs ‘Bury Me At Makeout Creek’ and ‘Puberty 2’, the singer has shown herself able to transmit intensity and intimacy in their extremes, sometimes at once.
‘Be The Cowboy’ begins with first single ‘Geyser’, a particularly intense, thudding thrash, but takes a series of unexpected turns from then on. Following single ‘Nobody’ is a piano-led bop with choppy, funk guitars, with Mitski’s voice the smoothest it’s ever been. ‘Why Didn’t You Stop Me’ is led by shiny synths, while ‘Lonesome Love’ is a breezy folk number; there’s little musical consistency across ‘Be The Cowboy’, but, as she’s explained, the record centres around “a very controlled icy repressed woman who is starting to unravel,” and this lack of direct thought or control sees the album veer off in any direction possible.
It hints little at the future for Mitski, but as a self-contained piece, just furthers her ability to create immersive worlds to fall into.