Listen to ‘Your Best American Girl’ here:

Mitski – otherwise known as Mitski Miyawaki – has shared ‘Your Best American Girl‘, the first track taken from her forthcoming album Puberty 2 – out 17 June 2016 via Dead Oceans (Destroyer, Kevin Morby). A super-sized anthem, ‘Your Best American Girl’ confronts Mitski’s thoughts of feeling “half Japanese, half American but not fully either,” – a tune where she “hammed up the tropes” to deconstruct and poke fun at alt-rock’s surplus of white males. “I wanted to use those white-American-guy stereotypes as a Japanese girl who can’t fit in, who can never be an ‘American girl’,” she explains.

The follow-up to 2014’s Bury Me At Makeout Creek – which was named after a Simpsons quote and hailed by Pitchfork as “a complex 10-song story [containing] some of the most nuanced, complex and articulate music that’s come from the indiesphere in a while,” – Puberty 2 picks up where its predecessor left off. “It’s kind of a two parter,” explains Mitski, who’s toured around the world and played with the likes of Speedy Ortiz and Hundred Waters since that album’s release. Musically, there are subtle evolutions: electronic drum pads pulse throughout, underneath fervent guitar lines.

The 25-year-old cuts the same defiant, feminist figure on Puberty 2 that won her acclaim last time around. Born in Japan, Mitski grew up surrounded by her father’s Smithsonian folk recordings and mother’s 1970s Japanese pop CDs in a family that moved frequently: she spent stints in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malaysia, China and Turkey among other countries before coming to New York to study composition at SUNY Purchase. As you might have guessed from the album’s title, that adolescent period is a time of her life she doesn’t feel she’s entirely left behind. “It came up as a joke and I became attached to it. Puberty 2! It sounds like a blockbuster movie. I actually had a ridiculously long argument whether it should be the number 2, or a Roman numeral.”

Sadness is awful and happiness is exhausting in the world of Mitski. The effect of Puberty 2 however is a stark opposite: invigorating, inspiring and beautiful. It was put together with the help of long-term accomplice Patrick Hyland, with every instrument played between the two of them. “You know the Drake song ‘No New Friends’? It’s like that. The more I do this, the more I close-mindedly stick to the people I know,” she says. “I think that focus made it my most mature record.”

Puberty 2 is out 17 June 2016 via Dead Oceans. Pre-orders can be made via the Rough Trade site. Mitski will headline London’s Birthdays on 19 April – tickets are available here.

Praise for Bury Me At Makeout Creek

Bury Me At Makeout Creek sounds like a breakthrough”
7.7/10 Pitchfork

“On record, her voice is intense, moving from a gentle hum into high-pitched ad libs, and live it’s even more impressive”
The Guardian

“Visceral, openhearted indie rock songs”
The New York Times

“The entire record is full of that kind of standing-on-a-cliff vulnerability, manifesting in shades of rough-hewn folk and discordant indie pop”

“Mitski Miyawaki wrings magic out of contrasts: her incredible vocal range hits crystalline… the music she’s playing has a gritty, metallic brashness”
Rolling Stone

“Of all the performances we witnessed last week at Austin’s annual South By Southwest Festival, one show stealer was particularly arresting: Mitski”


Puberty 2

1. Happy
2. Dan the Dancer
3. Once More To See You
4. Fireworks
5. Your Best American Girl
6. I Bet on Losing Dogs
7. My Body’s Made of Crushed Little Stars
8. Thursday Girl
9. A Loving Feeling
10. Crack Baby
11. A Burning Hill

Tour dates

Tue 19 Apr London Birthdays

SXSW dates

Wed 16 Mar Hype Hotel
YVYNYL x S&S x Hype Machine

Thu 17 Mar Barracuda
Secretly Label Group Showcase

Fri 18 Mar PEN
Portals (solo show)

Fri 18 Mar Hole in the Wall

Sat 19 Mar Studium
She Shreds