Mitski warmly recalls a quote from sculptor El Anatsui, “Art grows out of each
particular situation, and I believe that artists are better off working
with whatever their environment throws up.”
With this nerve exposed lyrically, and having dived into her new
beginning, Mitski chooses her 2014 breakthrough album Bury Me at Makeout Creek to
explore uncharted sonic territory, trading in large string arrangements
for guitar and bass. While studying composition at SUNY Purchase’s
music conservatory, she previously recorded music with a full orchestra.
However as college graduation inched closer, Mitski moved away from the
concert hall and into the campus’ active DIY scene. Upon relocating to
New York following graduation, she entered stages at Death By Audio,
Silent Barn, and Bed Stuy basements, entrenching her songs of love,
fear, lust, and brilliant clarity into entirely sympathetic ears.
Since releasing Bury Me at Makeout Creek, Mitski has
received international acclaim for her distinct, arresting sound and
profoundly reflective lyrics. Pitchfork applauded the release as
“inventive and resourceful,” while Rolling Stone celebrated her
“deep-cutting lyrics.” NME said of Bury Me, “it’s a record that doesn’t tug at your heart-strings as much as it mercilessly pounds at them, taking to your emotions like a lead pipe to a
piñata.” She has also received widespread attention for her “cathartic”
live shows as dubbed by The New York Times’ Jon Caramanica.
“I was so young when I behaved 25,” Mitski sings on “First Love / Late
Spring,” “yet now I find I’ve grown into a tall child.” This veritable
thesis speaks to sentiments of the poetry and beauty of struggling up
the hill to adulthood. Mitski follows El Anatsui’s humbling advice,
cathartically revealing snapshots from her adventures in youth, and the
empowerment found in sharing these stories with others. In
2015 Mitski is poised to continue delivering her particular flavor of
soul-baring rock, and tour throughout North America and beyond.
Katie von Schleicher
Katie Von Schleicher rose from intern to artist on Brooklyn label Ba Da Bing with Bleaksploitation, a self-recorded 2015 mini album of irreverent, fuzz-laden tunes. On her debut full-length, Von Schleicher strikes again on the magic that comes from her warped and uncompromising sound. Shitty Hits channels the bright, sunny radio burners of the 1970’s, songs you drive to, carefree, and songs you can cry to, which The Guardian describe as “Portishead meets the Beatles,” and NPR’s Bob Boilen calls “one of those constant repeat records for me.”
Conjuring the home recorded sound of Paul McCartney’s McCartney or Jeff Buckley’s Sketches For My Sweetheart The Drunk, Shitty Hits was created on a tape machine at Von Schleicher’s childhood home in Maryland. Where Bleaksploitation courted a kind of sonic nihilism, Shitty Hits shows confidence, growth and unflinching self-realization. Inhabiting the roles of producer and engineer, Von Schleicher cements her voice as one to be reckoned with, parsed and pored over, on an album that is “never less than beguiling” (Pitchfork).