The Grizzly Gazette

The Student News Site of Los Osos High School

The Grizzly Gazette

The Grizzly Gazette

This Land Is Inhospitable But Not This Album

On September 15, 2023, famous indie-rock artist Mitski released “Bug Like An Angel”. This song is a part of her upcoming album “This Land is Inhospitable And So Are We”(TLIIASAW), marking her seventh released album. 

For many fans (including myself) who believed she was going to stop releasing music for a long period after her most recent album “Laurel Hell”, this announcement was very exciting. 

Mitski mentioned in an interview that she had wanted to break away from the “sad girl” music genre, therefore, I had originally believed that this new release would stray away from her usual soul-crushing sound. 

I couldn’t have been more wrong. 

Her first release was “Bug Like An Angel”, the overall quality and production was highly reminiscent of “Laurel Hell”. 

In contrast to albums like ¨Lush¨ or ¨Bury Me At Makeout Creek¨, where her vocals were a little harsher and the background instrumentals were more dramatic, Mitski used very gentle tones and dim background music in ¨Laurel Hell¨.

When I first listened to “Bug Like An Angel”, I felt pretty emotional as I am a very big fan of Mitski. My opinion is a little biased because even if she were to release a song of her singing the ABCs backward, I would still call it a masterpiece. 

Despite this, I appreciated the inkling of her older music. For example, the song has a “jump scare” in it where the listener is startled by a sudden change in volume. These jump scares are highly prevalent within several of her older songs as well. 

What was especially interesting about this is the spiritual imagery. Although she has a few songs scattered around her discography that include religious themes, she hasn’t written a lot of tunes of this nature. 

Mtiski explained the imagery behind ¨Bug Like An Angel¨ in a YouTube video she released outlining her goals. Since the character is sipping from a glass with an insect trapped at the bottom of it, the bug appears to be an angel¨ from their perspective. It also appears to have wings when it is brought high into the light from above.

This song is about alcoholism and the unhealthy relationship that the character has with both drinking and God. Though Mitski only mentions God once in the song, with the lyrics “I try to remember that the wrath of the devil was also given to him by God,” the chorus is similar to gospel music.

This theme of alcoholism plays along with the idea of lost love; feeling as if one’s misdeeds are fine because just as God created good, he created evil. 

Despite being the third track on the album, “Bug Like An Angel” was the first release, with “Star” and “Heaven” introduced together later on. The actual album itself comes out later in September, which I am personally looking forward to. It will be interesting to see how Mitski experiments with her music and grows from her past style. 

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