Mitski is preparing to release Laurel Hell, her anticipated follow-up to 2018’s Be the Cowboy, on February 4. (*Checks notes* That’s less than a month away, which seems wild!) We’ve already heard a few singles from the uptempo, new wave–inspired album, and today we’re getting another pre-album track, “Love Me More,” along with a music video.
The song is synth-disco seduction outlined by a bit of guitar twang (at times it feels like the subdued sister of the Flashdance theme). The song stings with urgency as Mitski envisions another life for herself during the first verse: “If I keep myself at home / I won’t make the same mistake that I made for 15 years / I could be a new girl / I will be a new girl.” The accompanying video directed by Christopher Good illustrates that impulse to escape the industry and passion she’s pursued for decades. She encounters a creepy puppet version of herself who dances for the flowers; then she’s in an accident, encased in a full body cast, only to be put back on stage; later, giant piano keys fall like dominos of doom. Lots of symbolism to unpack here!
“As ‘Love Me More’ was written pre-pandemic, lyrics like ‘If I keep myself at home’ had different meanings than what they would now, but I kept them on the album because I found that some of the sentiments not only remained the same, but were accentuated by the lockdown,” Mitski said in a press release. “‘Love Me More’ went through the most iterations out of all the songs on the album. It’s been too fast, too slow, and at some point, it was even an old style country song. Finally, I think because we had watched The Exorcist, we thought of Mike Oldfield’s ‘Tubular Bells’ and experimented with floating an ostinato over the chorus. As we steadily evolved the ostinato to fit over the chord progressions, we began to hear how the track was meant to sound.”
Watch the video below.