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Mitski, 'Bug Like an Angel'

Mitski writes songs that cut straight to the bone. Ever since 2013's break-out album Bury Me at Makeout Creek, the singer-songwriter's sound and style has continued to widen with her star power. On 2018's Be the Cowboy, she served up high concept, character-driven narratives; on 2022's Laurel Hell, she flirted further with danceable pop and dramatic '80s synth rock.

From the album The Land is Inhospitable and So Are We, out Sept. 15, "Bug Like An Angel" transforms Mitski's soundtrack of loneliness and brokenness into something almost hymnal. "Did you go and make promises you can't keep?" she sings, strumming an acoustic guitar, backed impressively by a choir. "Well, when you break them, they break you right back." It's a quiet little song, but it also embodies Mitski's specialty: turning the lowest lows into little moments of beauty.

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Hazel Cills
Hazel Cills is an editor at NPR Music, where she edits breaking music news, reviews, essays and interviews. Before coming to NPR in 2021, Hazel was a culture reporter at Jezebel, where she wrote about music and popular culture. She was also a writer for MTV News and a founding staff writer for the teen publication Rookie magazine.