Wednesday, May 30th, 2018

Mitski – Geyser

Critically acclaimed artist becomes even more acclaimed…


Eleanor Graham: Retired from sad, new career in loud sad.

Julian Axelrod: Mitski doesn’t do half measures. Every song hits you with the full force of her emotions: the highs feel like you’re flying, and the lows feel like she’s ripped your guts out with a rusty knife. Each record has been stronger than the last, and while “Geyser” covers a lot of ground in under three minutes, it’s almost frighteningly assured. Mitski sounds like she’s created a suit of armor out of the climaxes of another band’s best songs, an impervious rock goddess leading a cavalry of horns and organs and vicious guitars into hell to battle for her love. It roars and soars and growls and moans, collapsing to the ground so it can stand to fight once more. It is the sound of one woman giving you her all, even if it kills her. And this is just the first single.

Alex Clifton: “Geyser” is several songs at once. It begins foreboding and mystic, almost terrifying (I hate how jarring the glitch noise noise is every time, although that’s the point), and suddenly transforms itself into a love song of purest passion. Beginning at a melancholic point and ending somewhere happier not even two minutes later is emotional whiplash at its finest, and it somehow makes me cry every time I hear it. Few songs feel like a raw nerve that’s just been tapped, pain and love and joy all shooting through it all at once; this is one of them.

Katherine St Asaph: Starts out sounding like it’s going to turn into Carina Round or Rose Kemp, then glitches for a second like it’s about to turn into NIN or The Future’s Void. It turns into neither of those, but rather two separate codas: a geyser-strong rock chorus, as promised, and a stately, meh ballad surrounding it. Two out of three ain’t bad.

Joshua Minsoo Kim: The first half is brilliant–a Desertshore-esque gothic dirge that reveals itself to be a prim Julia Holter-type offering. The modulation to a major key isn’t recognizably detrimental at first, but this shift ends the song on an anticlimactic note despite the roaring instrumentation. The winding vocal melodies, while in line with the lyrics, are also a bit too fastidious to leave a considerable impact. And yet, I find it all so utterly appropriate. That spike of noise in the beginning signals an unrest that’s bubbling underneath, and the transition to familiar Mitski tropes reveals the freedom and confidence she’s finally arrived at. While the final vocal melodies may feel inappropriately rigid, there’s a clear understanding that she’s come to this point from a place of both emotion and intelligence; people need to work through things from both perspectives if they want to exclaim boldly, “I will be the one you need.”

Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: Maybe it’s the organ tones in the intro serving as bait, but “Geyser” reads as religious in a deep sense — not godly but ritualistic. It helps that the lyrics are less verses than chants, psalms to the very art that Mitski practices. This is the lushest that Mitski has ever sounded, all cascading horns and rolling drums, and she wears these grander things magnificently. The only shame is that the song is so short — it’s a holy experience that feels like it could be carried on for a bit longer.

Alfred Soto: The massing of feedback for the purpose of building drama rarely gets done as expertly as Mitski manages, and for half the length of the most recent Florence + the Machine leak. 

Nicholas Donohoue: Mitski was the most charismatic artist I saw last year. Standing on a stage that would soon be occupied by Run The Jewels and Lorde, she was rigidly static with sheer vocal might, letting her band rage to her emotions. That “Geyser” captures that physical presence in a tidy, pin-prickle soul churner enamors me, and I don’t know if I should let loose or hold firm. 

Juan F. Carruyo : Mitski carries herself with a solemnity that inspires admiration and coupled with a vocal performance that is as captivating as it is restrained, but by no means lacking in emotion.

Ian Mathers: I’ve now written and deleted four completely distinct, much longer blurbs for “Geyser” because they were all just attempts to talk around the fact that it’s incredible in ways that I’m not sure how to articulate.

Pedro João Santos: Puberty 2 was all about being anathema to happiness–the confessions of Mitski, not for the pleasure of coming clean, but purely for an existential necessity. These were serrated declarations on life, attempting to grasp all its vicissitudes in a fleeting chokehold, lamenting and screaming relentlessly. As it turned out, a second adolescence was as inquisitive as the first and twice as draining. By the end, she vowed to submerge her fury, hiding it in a button-down, forging peace of mind. I like to think “Geyser” is the next chapter. An ominous, suspenseful organ kicks off the song in a way suggestive of bubbling anguish. Something is rising, but it’s clear it’s something else. And it majestically turns into overflow–pure, raw guitar-led potency being unleashed into the world, ridding itself of all contempt for a radical, statement of love; unspecified love, love in any capacity. This is personal vindication, the catharsis that extinguishes the ravaging fires from within. Happiness is a new hope, and this is Mitski’s monument to it, one of precipitous, violent beauty — the sound of a woman consumed not by something external, but herself, fully formed and braced for the future.

Reader average: [9.05] (18 votes)

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8 Responses to “Mitski – Geyser”

  1. is the .02 separating this and “make me feel” the closest #1/#2 split in jukebox history?

  2. it’s what she deserves

  3. love seeing a good chunk of the new writers here! welcome to all :) the score is nice too

  4. The score “Your Best American Girl” deserved…

  5. this one left me cold. i simply had nothing to write about it

  6. I’m with Penk and Rebecca on this one :(

  7. I still like the song though! Also everyone’s writing is incredible ??

  8. Katherine I misread that as ‘Ross Kemp’ for a second and had a very strange mental image.