Mitski – Puberty 2

Album Review by Andrew Gordon | 01 Jun 2016
Album title: Puberty 2
Artist: Mitski
Label: Dead Oceans
Release date: 17 Jun

Puberty’s a time of peak emotions but it’s also one of chronic navel-gazing, making it dangerous territory for musicians. Fortunately, Puberty 2 is the rare breed that evokes all the angst and drama of adolescence but also its sublime passion. Featuring crunchy guitars, squeals of feedback and masterful melodicism, comparisons to Pinkerton are inevitable, but there's more nuance and maturity at work here.

For one thing, Best American Girl issues a sharp corrective to the dubious orientalist fantasy voiced on Weezer’s classic: Mitski (of American-Japanese descent) expresses the difficulty of fitting in when your difference is constantly reflected back at you, with a combined ferocity and tenderness that’s simply heartbreaking. Then there’s the production, full of deft hiccups and quirks. Crack Baby's queasy key change is a prime example, turning a hook already destined for greatness into something downright devestating.

Mitski hails from New York, where a fellow songwriter once warned against feeling like 'a real life emotional teenager.' But you listen to Puberty 2, and then you think again.

Playing Stereo, Glasgow on 4 Oct and Deaf Institute, Manchester on 5 Oct