Ethereal world of Lauren Hell


A vision in white! Mitski at the Moore Theatre in Seattle, Washington for her March 10, 2022 tour show. (Photo courtesy of David Lee)

Brayden Reese, Staff Writer

It’s Mitski! Almost 4 years after her previous album, she has returned with a brand new experience. With winding soundscapes and ethereal vocals, Mitski leads us through a big room filled with sadness.

The album opens with the song “Valentine, Texas.” which begins slow and methodical, and slowly grows into a signature Mitski sound explosion. Loud guitars, impressive drum beats, and 80s sounding synths. These sounds evoke thoughts of emotion and fear within your soul.

This album continues Mitski’s signature sound, which is characterized by 80s influenced guitar and synth tracks, roaring vocals, and the occasional soft melody. She’s been utilizing this sound for almost 10 years, and it has given her great success. It builds off of many of the themes explored in her 2018 album “Be the Cowboy” and could be seen as a sequel.

While her style does work wonders, it grows old over time. Many of the songs on this new album sound very similar. You could say the same for much of her previous albums as well, but she knows what she does best and utilizes that to the fullest extent possible. 

Lack of experimentation aside, she still writes incredibly self-reflective lyrics. These lyrics give a view into everything that’s on her mind, and everything that’s bothering her in life. Heartbreaks, depression, and everything else that fills her consciousness. 

Laurel Hell is an interesting album title, according to her, the definition is that it’s a folk term used in the southern Appalachian mountains, which describes thick bushes of laurel thickets that you can get trapped in. She says she chose this because it was an interesting metaphor and because laurels are very pretty flowers.

In conclusion, “Laurel Hell” is pretty good, but it also gives light to her lack of experimentation as she drags her sound out across 10 years’ worth of albums.