It’s official: A new Mitski album is coming soon.
The singer-songwriter’s sixth record, titled “Laurel Hell,” is set to release on Feb. 4 via Dead Oceans. The album will be Mitski’s first full-length release since 2018’s “Be the Cowboy,” which found itself at the top of many end-of-year best album lists.
“‘Laurel Hell’ is a soundtrack for transformation, a map to the place where vulnerability and resilience, sorrow and delight, error and transcendence can all sit within our humanity, can all be seen as worthy of acknowledgment, and ultimately, love,” the press release for the announcement reads. “’I accept it all,’ she promises. ‘I forgive it all.'”
The album announcement is paired with the release of a synth-heavy new single, titled “The Only Heartbreaker,” and its accompanying apocalyptic music video. Directed by Maegan Houang and Jeff Desom, the visual was filmed almost entirely in front of a green screen and shows Mitski dancing as a forest burns down, with the singer — and the earth — eventually exploding into nothingness. The music video reflects the world-crushing emotion expressed in the song of knowing that you’ve inflicted pain on a loved one. “If you would just make one mistake / What a relief that would be,” Mitski croons on the track. “But I think for as long as we’re together / I’ll be the only heartbreaker.”
Mitski says the song is from the perspective of “the person always messing up in the relationship, the designated Bad Guy who gets the blame. It could simply be about that, but I also wanted to depict something sadder beneath the surface, that maybe the reason you’re always the one making mistakes is because you’re the only one trying.”
With “Laurel Hell,” Mitski seeks to break through the facade of public perception. As she explains in the press release, “I needed love songs about real relationships that are not power struggles to be won or lost,” she explains. “I needed songs that could help me forgive both others and myself. I make mistakes all the time. I don’t want to put on a front where I’m a role model, but I’m also not a bad person. I needed to create this space mostly for myself where I sat in that gray area.”
Watch the video for “The Only Heartbreaker” below.