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The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

“The Land Is Inhospitable and So Are We:” The Haunting Melodies of Mitski’s Seventh Album

Mitski gives in to the vulnerability of her inner darkness — and hurdles into its depths unafraid.
Photo Courtesy / Youtube Mitski

Mitski has never been afraid of pain. As she told Rolling Stone in 2021, “I’m going to keep getting hurt, and I’m still going to do it, because this is the only thing I can do.” In her newest album released Sept. 15, “The Land Is Inhospitable and So Are We,” Mitski curates a mystical and ephemeral experience about the ending of her world and the love that remains after loss. 

For the artist, sometimes “a drink feels like family.” Ruminating on broken promises and the comfort of casual alcoholism, the artist’s first song of the album “Bug Like an Angel” is a gospel hymn on truth and personal identity. This theme bleeds into her next song, “Buffalo Replaced,” as she enforces her own strength despite occasionally neglecting it with bad habits.

In songs “Heaven” and “My Love Mine All Mine,” she exposes her vulnerable side with sweet and soft hymnals of adoration. These tracks, especially “Heaven,” are dreamier and slower with a choir of acoustic instrumentals reverberating in the background. Mitski sings of her love, and how “nothing in the world belongs to her” but her lover. 

Treating love as a spirit filling the room, the artist includes religious elements in “Heaven” — aptly named — to describe the essence of her devotion to her beloved. With elegant illustrations such as “bending like a willow, thinking of you” and “like a murmuring brook, curving about you,” she invites nature into her affections to create a transcendent experience of love.

In a western style melody, Mitski sings of the loneliness of humanity and the desolation of society in “The Frost” — alluding to how the land is “inhospitable” and now the world “is hers alone.” Taking an act as simple as watching frost out the window, she turns this short song into a warning of the end of the world and the abandonment of who she sings for. 

“I Don’t Like My Mind” is a folky melody about drowning out the “stuck” memories living in Mitski’s mind, and fighting the loneliness of being surrounded by everything she regrets. The artist continues to confess to her human faults in “I’m Your Man,” and describes herself as unworthy of the one she loves with the lyrics “you believe me like a god, I destroy you like I am.” Apologizing to her lover for being the one they care for, Mitski expresses excruciating honesty and wonders “I deserve it, don’t I?”

Ending with “I Love Me After You,” she contradicts the message of her previous song with assurance that despite the pain caused by desolation and heartbreak, there is love within herself to be found. An album about love and discovery, Mitski doesn’t shy away from all the stages of love — including uncovering the love deep within her own being.

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About the Contributor
Olivia Rainson, Features Editor & Social Media Manager
Olivia Rainson is a senior English major and creative writing minor serving as the Features Editor and Social Media Manager. She also works at the University Writing Center and is on the editorial board of the Intersections Literary Magazine. Olivia has been with The Torch since the beginning of her sophomore year, and when she isn’t writing, you can find her reading with an iced coffee. Olivia can be reached at [email protected] and [email protected]
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