In 2019, the indie star announced on Twitter that a gig in New York’s central park would be her, “last show indefinitely”. When a fan responded to her now-deleted account, asking “You’ve been on the road for what…five years?” she responded, “Yeah. It’s time to be a human again. And have a place to live.” At the time she assured fans that she wasn’t calling it quits, but “stepping away”.
Now that she’s set to release her sixth album ‘Laurel Hell’ on February 4, she’s shared more details behind her decision to stop touring and making music.
“You develop this constant ticker in your mind of people’s potential criticism or commentary on whatever you’re making, even in the middle of making it,” she told the BBC. “And that will never really go away, I don’t think.”
She also discussed the real reason that she stepped away wasn’t “physical exhaustion”, but being overwhelmed by the “super-saturated” consumerism of the music industry.
“It was simpler to just explain it away as physical exhaustion which, of course, was part of it,” she said. “But looking back, it was more mentally [about] being a working person in the music industry, which is like this super-saturated version of consumerism.”
Mitski also said that during her time away from music she was “filled with regret and grief” thinking “maybe I’d made a big mistake”. At one point, she couldn’t listen to other people’s music without crying.
“I would think, ‘Oh my God, I wish I was still doing this,’ and I would just tear up, which is pathetic,” she explained. Though she always planned to come back, and referred to music as “the only thing I can do”, she admitted to still having complicated feelings about the release of her latest album.
“How does it feel to be releasing a record again? Terrible. Absolutely terrible,” she said.”It’s like, ‘Oh Jesus, here we go again. I thought I was having fun and now it’s no fun anymore’.”
Despite Mitski’s complicated feelings, fans have been anticipating the release of her latest work since the release of 2018’s critically-acclaimed ‘Be The Cowboy’.
In the four-star review of ‘Laurel Hill’, NME said that the album “blends hints of disco strut with a bold sense of theatrical” and called it her “grandest music yet.”
Her lengthy US tour kicks off on February 17 at The Orange Peel in Asheville, North Carolina, before she returns to the UK and Europe for a full tour through April and May. She’ll also be supporting Harry Styles at a run of UK stadium shows in June amidst a summer of festival appearances.