Working for the knife; Mitski’s new, darker single

Oct. 6, 2021

SAN JOSE, CA—Mitski, a 31-year-old famous singer-songwriter, known for her emotional, heart-heavy songs has yet composed another beautiful piece that emphasizes her entire reasoning for singing. Having written the new single in her late 20s, she released the new song two years later, the new tear-jerker of the year “Working for the Knife.”

Coming back with a bang from her 2018 album “Be The Cowboy”, Mitski has recently released the single “Working for the Knife” on Oct. 5. The song promotes Mitski’s trademark of raw emotion through her lyrics. As seen in the verse, “That I’m dying for the knife.” The phrase “dying for” implies longing (emphasized in her sorrowed voice) to obtain something, to live for something. For this context, it is but the noxious yet notable knife. The meaning could be as complex as an internal conflict, to something as simple as death itself.

To a local Silver Creek student and enthusiast for Mitski, Angelo Idanan, their first initial reaction to “Working for the Knife” was, “I don’t even know the full story or anything, it just made me cry. Everything that stressed me out was expressed from the pain in Mitski’s voice. It just felt relatable.”

According to Mitski about the new song she has stated, “It’s about going from being a kid with a dream, to a grown-up with a job, and feeling that somewhere along the way you got left behind.” In addition, “It’s being confronted with a world that doesn’t seem to recognize your humanity, and seeing no way out of it.” 

Along with the deeper significance behind this track, it has become widely popular because it being Mitski’s newest music video in two whole years. To Silver Creek fans, this is an extremely big deal. Being left on a two-year hiatus was not the easiest for them. Listeners yearned for another heart-wrenching song by Mitski. But as always, fans were not disappointed. The music video stressed a strange but alluring vibe illustrated by Mitski and her renowned cowboy hat. The song is enveloped in a heavy low guitar with a subtle ominous rhythm that has never failed to make Mitski so charming and unique.

There are many interpretations for the hit single’s lyrics and actions made in her music video. Popular theories and implications have suggested more than what she had stated about this profound song. 

It has been pointed out in the verse, “I used to think I’d be done by twenty/ Now at twenty-nine/ the road ahead appears the same/Though maybe at thirty, I’ll see a way to change.” This song could be a road to memory lane on how she felt when she was 29. However, it is unclear if she found closure at the age she is now.

 Branching out from this idea, Silver Creek fans have speculated when Mitski says she’d be “done” in the verse; ‘done’ could be related to what the knife was. Perhaps, living and questioning the general idea of life.

 In the past, she has explained serious topics regarding depression and suicide based on personal experience. Up till now, the feelings of immense suicidality remained. In hopes of it disappearing in the recent year, she premiered this intense bold version of “Be the Cowboy.” Mitski had marked her return when fans needed it. Needed her.

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