‘Laurel Hell’, which is out today (February 4), follows 2018’s ‘Be The Cowboy’. Mitski previewed the album with the tracks ‘Working For The Knife’, ‘The Only Heartbreaker’, ‘Heat Lightning’ and ‘Love Me More’.
The video for ‘Stay Soft’ is directed by Maegan Houang, who previously co-directed the visuals for ‘The Only Heartbreaker’. It sees Mitski in a spooky garden, with some eerie figures lurking in the background who eventually chase her until they meet their bloody end.
Houang said in a statement: “This video is heavily inspired by Romanticism and paintings and artwork from the Victorian era. Like the lyrics of the song ‘Stay Soft,’ paintings from that era have a gentle quality, but they still evoke a certain feeling of unexplored darkness and danger. I want the audience to feel safe within this fabricated world and then realize that the character Mitski plays is being hunted.”
In a recent interview ahead of the album’s release, Mitski spoke about her decision to take a hiatus from music and how “absolutely terrible” it feels to be releasing new music.
“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’.”
In 2019, she wrote on Twitter that a gig in New York’s central park would be her “last show indefinitely”. She added that she wasn’t calling it quits, but “stepping away”. In the new interview, she told the BBC that during her time away from music she was “filled with regret and grief” thinking “maybe I’d made a big mistake”.
“I would think, ‘Oh my God, I wish I was still doing this,’ and I would just tear up, which is pathetic,” she explained.
In the four-star review of ‘Laurel Hill’, NME said that it “blends hints of disco strut with a bold sense of theatrical” and called it her “grandest music yet.”
Mitski’s US tour kicks off on February 17, with UK and European dates in April and May. She’ll also be supporting Harry Styles at a run of UK stadium shows in June.