Mitski – Townie (Stream)
by Steven Spoerl
It’s been an absolutely monstrous week for great new music and we’re not even halfway through it. First and foremost, it should be noted that Stereogum is now streaming LVL UP’s Hoodwink’d in full (this site’s current front-runner for Album of the Year), along with great new records from Spray Paint, Lower Plenty, and S. NPR, as always, has a few gems available in their First Listen series, King Tuff’s Black Moon Spell and Perfume Genius’ Too Bright among them. Wander on over to the unending sprawl that is bandcamp and there are a few new things to unearth, like Cancers’ Fatten the Leeches and the unreasonably compelling split that comes courtesy of Follies and Wishbone. Similarly, Pitchfork Advance is offering up an early stream of upcoming stunners from Whirr and Foxes in Fiction, Stay and Ontario Gothic, respectively. On the single song side of things, there were outstanding new tunes that surfaced from site favorites Krill, a revitalized The Twilight Sad, a resurgent The Jazz June, and an intriguing new shoegaze project born out of the Deafheaven camp going by the name Creepers. As if all of that weren’t enough, there were also standout music videos emerging from a few intriguing corners of the musical spectrum that generally gets covered here, mostly from artists that exist on the fringes of their genre- Kevin Morby, Angel Olsen, Hiss Golden Messenger on the folksier side of things and the punk-leaning acts being well represented by Pet Sun and PS I Love You.
With all of that now existing in the world, anything getting the feature spot today had to be spectacular. Mitski (who recently made an introductory appearance on this site via Watch This) proved up to the challenge with the gnarled-but-beautiful basement pop rager “Townie”. Unsurprisingly, this song (and Bury Me At Makeout Creek, the upcoming record it’s attached to) comes via Double Double Whammy- who, between LVL UP, Follies and Wishbone, Krill, and this, had themselves one hell of a day- cementing that label’s reputation as one of the most exciting things in music. Pulling in an equal amount of influence from punk, post-punk, 90’s scuzz, powerpop, soul, and 50’s pop, “Townie” reveals itself to be something immediate and sublime before the gift of a chorus kicks in. Easily one of 2014’s best songs, it skyrockets the expectations for Bury Me At Makeout Creek and acts as an unforgettable introduction-at-large for Mitski. Everything here works on an extraordinary level, from the floating vocals to the tambourine attack to the feedback screeches to the fucking theremin section. “Townie” is as defiant as it is triumphant, adding an impressive amount of gravity with an unflinchingly honest lyric set. Package it all together and it becomes something completely irresistible that approaches levels of transcendence. Music doesn’t get much better than this.
Listen to “Townie” below and pre-order Bury Me At Makeout Creek from Double Double Whammy here.