Song of the Week delves into the fresh songs we just can’t get out of our heads. Find these tracks and more on our Spotify Top Songs playlist, and for our favorite new songs from emerging artists, check out our Spotify New Sounds playlist. This week, Mitski returns with the low-key, acoustic “Bug Like an Angel.”
Just over a year removed from her last album, Laurel Hell, and sparking discourse over concert etiquette on her subsequent tour, indie’s crowned queen of cathartic, I’m-not-okay anthems is set to return with a brand new, full-length album, the depressingly-named The Land Is Inhospitable and So Are We. “Bug Like an Angel” comes as the first taste of the upcoming project, and the track proves that Mitski can mine emotionality out of even her most low-key, stripped-back tunes.
Despite coming from an album bearing a name fit for a death metal project, “Bug Like an Angel” is Mitski at her quietest. A majority of the track finds her alone with an acoustic guitar, softly strumming a four-chord pattern, over which she sings of looking for company at the bottom of a liquor bottle.
Though very few other instruments are added into the mix, a lush choir enters to drive home the juxtaposition of community and isolation. “Sometimes a drink feels like family,” Mitski begins alone before a host of heavenly voices join in to underscore the opportune word of the phrase, “family.”
“Bug Like an Angel” might not have you dancing like “Washing Machine Heart,” nor will it have you exercising all of your negative feelings via primal screams in the way “Drunk Walk Home” does, but it just might become a go-to warm blanket for times of loneliness. It’s an understated note to launch an album cycle on, but it’s also an introduction that’s beautiful, welcoming, and up to the high standards the songwriter has set for herself.
— Jonah Krueger