Mitski's 'The Land Is Inhospitable And So Are We': A Musical Journey
Japanese-American singer and songwriter Mitsuki Miyawaki, better known as “Mitski”, released her seventh studio album, The Land Is Inhospitable And So Are We on September 15th, 2023. Fans were shocked but excited to see Mitski’s return, as it was highly speculated that the singer had retired and left the music industry after the release of her previous album, Laurel Hell.
Mitski describes The Land Is Inhospitable And So Are We as her most American album. The album's opening track, "Bug Like an Angel," establishes this using acoustic-driven folk and mature, softer-sounding instrumentals compared to the synth-pop sound of "Laurel Hell." On her official website, in the description under TLIIASAW’s CD, Mitski said, “The best thing I ever did in my life was to love people. I wish I could leave behind all the love I have after I die, so I can shine all this goodness, all this good love that I’ve created onto other people.” Echoing this sentiment, the album emits an intense exploration of love, making it a central and resonant theme throughout.
The 7th track, “My Love Mine All Mine”, which swiftly beat “Washing Machine Heart”’s place as Mitski’s top-listened-to-song for three years now, is a perfect example of this. This song surrounds exactly what Mitski said about her wish to leave behind all her love after she dies, with melancholic instrumentals and poignant lyrics such as “Nothing in the world belongs to me but my love” and “So, when I die, which I must do, could [my love] shine down here with you?” Mitski captures the experience of loving someone in all of its glory, leaving listeners with changed perspectives on what it’s like to wholeheartedly love.
Mitski has shown significant growth as an artist across the past decade. While most of her earlier albums predominately carry an Alternative/Indie vibe, she seems to be experimenting with more genres, judging by the 1980’s electronic rock style of Laurel Hell and now Americana country folk style of TLIIASAW, which is especially seen through the songs “Buffalo Replaced” and “I Don’t Like My Mind.” Mitski also attempts a powerful orchestral feel with “When Memories Snow” and “Heaven”, the latter she’s mentioned working on with Drew Erickson, a record producer and songwriter that’s worked with artists like Lana Del Rey and Father John Misty. Mitski said, “...we also got these instrumentalists who, you know, are the best in their field, and would usually do scores for Disney or some big production stuff like that and we managed to get them on our little record, and I’m so happy with the end result.”
Long-time fans and newer fans have gone crazy over the release of TLIIASAW. Mitski’s career has reached a new peak of 21,781,492 monthly listeners on Spotify, and “My Love Mine All Mine” has surpassed 100 million streams. With Mitski’s recent announcement on TikTok surrounding her upcoming tour, the excitement is only building. Fans can't wait to see her perform her new songs live, and by the amount of care she seems to have put into this album, her tour is sure to deliver a memorable experience for all who attend. Mitski's talent and her ability to deeply connect with her audience, both personally and on a global scale, are a testament to the profound impact of her music.