"Nobody" - Mitski [YouTube Music Video]

Surreal new video chronicles isolation in technicolor
Jackson Bedbury

by Jackson Bedbury

Published June 27, 2018

Delve into the cinematic dreamscape of Mitski's new single, “Nobody,” above.

The second single from her upcoming album, Be the Cowboy, following “Geyser,” the song brings a wholly different, disco-tinged sound with muted but shimmering guitar, a prominent piano part, and a classic dance groove.  That bright instrumentation contrasts sharply, though, with the song's dejected theme.

The music video for “Nobody” opens on a bastardized version of a campy fifties diner scene, with a pair of twin Mitskis staring at one another as they sip sand through straws in a shared hourglass.  Mitski sings, “My God I’m so lonely / So I open the window / To hear sounds of people,” as the camera zooms out to reveal a trio of dancing bodies framing the stoic Mitski duo. 

The visuals carry on dreamily while Mitski sings that the “planet of love was destroyed by global warming” as one half of her bed moves itself across the room to leave her on a lonely twin-sized mattress.  She continues, "I don't want your pity / I just want somebody near me," only to find a defaced greeting card in her mailbox that is signed simply, "Love," without a name.  Perhaps most relatably of all, she sings plainly, "I know no one will save me / I just need someone to kiss."

The video features several non-Mitski beings, but viewers never see a face that does not belong to her.  Some shots only show mid-sections, other faces are blurred or obscured, and one body has a tablet projecting Mitski’s face where its own ought to be before that too becomes obscured.  In a press release, she shared some insight about what inspired Be the Cowboy:

I had been on the road for a long time, which is so isolating, and had to run my own business at the same time... a lot of this record was me not having any feelings, being completely spent but then trying to rally myself and wake up and get back to Mitski. I was feeling really nihilistic and trying to make pop songs.

The sense of isolation in "Nobody" despite the presence of other people in the video perfectly informs the emotions behind this song: with or without people, Mitski will feel lonely and alone. 

Beyond the now-trademark vulnerability of the track, this represents a whole new sound for Mitski, and may indicate how broadly her new album will reach.  “Geyser” showcases Mitski's ability to craft big orchestral arrangements, while “Nobody” treats listeners to a fantastically dancy — if deeply introspective — new sound, with a couple of key changes for good measure.

Stream “Nobody” on all major services, and preorder Be the Cowboy, out August 17 via Dead Oceans, on Amazon.

For tour dates and more information check out Mitski’s Zumic artist page.


Indie Indie Pop
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