Label: Dead Oceans Mitski’s stunning new release, Be the Cowboy, collects 14 such stories in elegant, compact musical vignettes that explore the pain and folly and intoxication of building and losing connections. For anywhere between one and four minutes, the musician grasps the listener’s hand and plunges them into a self-contained world in which one narrator confronts her relationship with relationships. And it is addicting. Each track is a gem, reflective and complex and yet exactly as simple as it ought to be. Every song on Be the Cowboy, though, reflects Mitski’s skill at modulating mood. And with this record, she excels most at balancing rawness and sincerity with humour. The songs express deep throbbing pains and lusts that are complemented with self-awareness and a gentle good spirit. Be the Cowboy shows that love and loss can be grand and small at the same time. That every moment can be a epic love story, that every heartbreak can be as hard and small as a pearl and just as coveted.