Mitski has a new album coming. It’s called Laurel Hell and it’s out February 4 via Dead Oceans. Today, we get the latest single titled “Heat Lightning,” which opens with an eerie, droning sound reminiscent of The Velvet Underground. Over tambourine and moody drums, Mitski details staying up late with an ominous feeling weighing heavily on her. “Can’t carry it much longer / On the ceiling dancing / Things all come and gone,” she sings before a symphonic climax shifts the song completely.
In regard to the forthcoming album, Mitski revealed that she “needed songs that could help me forgive both others and myself… I needed to create this space mostly for myself where I sat in that gray area.” On “Heat Lightning,” Mitski relinquishes the stress and pain: “There’s nothing I can do / Not much I can change / I give it up to you / I surrender.” From brooding art-rock to buzzing R&B with a classical piano solo, the shifts in “Heat Lightning” feel like changes in a dream—rapid, seamless, and surreal.
Watch the lyric video for “Heat Lightning” created by Alex Moy below.