Mitski, TRUST FUND at Stereo, 4/10/16

Mitski’s fourth studio album, Puberty 2, has seem a rapid rise to recognition for the New York based performer and that recognition is justified for simply for the picture painted on the record, one that emits anxiety and sadness but also points the way to beauty and happiness.

Puberty 2 is album full of lush dream pop-tinged soundscapes and punkish guitars, but it’s an album that feels special, feels personal to everyone that that’s heard it.

Still, it seems a surprise to the singer how popular she is in Glasgow, playing to a packed Stereo on a Tuesday night.

Before that though we get the chance to take in the quirkly lo-fi pop of Bristol’s TRUST FUND.

From the very off they grasp the attention of an eager crowd with high pitched, broken up squeaks, but the band can more than carry a tune too as simple keys and vocals build a set that embodies childish joy.

The full on drum assaults and classic rock guitars that switch into driving indie pop joy mean the packed room never threatens getting quieter.

For the last portion of the set they’re joined by a drummer and produce mesmerising triple vocal delivery before closing on a cover of Personal Best’s ‘This Is What We Look Like’.

Mitski takes the stage without any glitz or glamour, but she and her band really go for it from the start as they hit into the surfy noise of ‘Townie’ with her vocal sounding as chirpy as on record, hitting all the high notes as she hooks the crowd in with her darkly humoured refrains.

There’s a real addictive quality to Mitski’s set, as there is to her records, and as she covers Calvin Harris and Disciples’ ‘How Deep Is Your Love’ she sets a new haunted take the hit single as a doom-ridden rumble explodes into a bass led thump punctuated by screeching guitars, all topped off with the ending quip of “all of this set was written by me… except for that which was written by someone who is making a better living than me”.

‘Your Best American Girl’ catches Mitski at her fuzzy ‘90s sounding pop-tinged best and hits a striding confidence, as potentially her best known track it oozes passionate sing-alongs along side preciously built brilliance.

‘Drunk Walk Home’ ends with Mitski screaming at the top her lungs, before she’s left by her band to go solo to close the set on the touching ‘A Burning Hill’ before the closer, ‘My Body’s Made of Crushed Little Stars’. shows her at potentially her most intense and punk.

It’s as difficult to predict what’s next for Mitski as it is to pin point what excatly is that’s so brilliant about her songs, but in this moment it feels very special, let’s hope it continues.

Words: Iain Dawson

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