AEA Sessions: Mitski

Mitski performs three stripped down songs from her album Puberty 2

This installment of our AEA Sessions video series features New York-based singer-songwriter, Mitski, as she performs three songs from her 2016 album, ‘Puberty 2’.


A Burning Hill

Alone with her guitar and washed in a warm, orange glow, Mitski delivers dynamic performances that explore a range of texture and tone. In ‘My Body Is Made Of Crushed Little Stars’, she sings of youthful restlessness while her guitar roars with energy and ferocity. In contrast, her words of somber sympathy in ‘I Bet On Losing Dogs’ ring most true atop her delicate finger-picked guitar playing.

My Body’s Made of Crushed Little Stars

I Bet on Losing Dogs

In these sessions, Mitski’s voice and guitar come together to create singular, evocative moments that linger in the mind. To best capture these moments, we rely on the simple, but effective combination of the near-field N22 and far-field, stereo R88.

Both Mitski’s vocal and guitar cab are recorded by the near-field NUVO N22, while the stereo R88 records the room. All tracks are without equalization or compression and the reverb is provided by a plate reverb unit.

About The Artist

“…so the lyrics and the vocal melody are king in my songs. they always come first.” Mitski’s approach to songwriting begins from the ground up, with a deliberate vocal melody that manifests the vivid imagery of her words. “The way I learned to write was just writing things down on paper and hearing it in my head and kind of hoping for the best.”

Mitski is a singer-songwriter fresh off the release of her album, Puberty 2. The follow-up to 2014’s ‘Bury Me At Makeout Creek’, named after a Simpsons quote and hailed Best New Music by Pitchfork as “a complex 10-song story [containing] some of the most nuanced, complex and articulate music that’s come from the indiesphere in a while,” Puberty 2 picks up where its predecessor left off. “It’s kind of a two parter,” explains Mitski. “It’s similar in sound, but a direct growth [from] that record.” Musically, there are subtle evolutions: electronic drum machines pulse throughout beneath Pixies-ish guitars, while saxophone lights up its opening track. “I had a certain confidence this time. I knew what I wanted, knew what I was doing and wasn’t afraid to do things that some people may not like.”

In terms of message though, Mitski cuts the same defiant, feminist figure on Puberty 2 that won her acclaim last time around (her hero is MIA, for her politics as much as her music). Born in Japan, Mitski grew up surrounded by her father’s Smithsonian folk recordings and mother’s 1970s Japanese pop CDs in a family that moved frequently: she spent stints in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malaysia, China and Turkey among other countries before coming to New York to study composition at SUNY Purchase.

Behind the Scenes With Mitski

  • AEA N22 - Vocals
  • AEA N22 - Electric Guitar
  • AEA R88 - Room
  • RPQ500 Preamps
  • Burl B2 Converters on Vocals and Guitar
  • Nuendo 4 @ 96k/24bit
The AEA Sessions

AEA’s own recording series featuring our favorite artists.

How To Record Electric Guitar With the N22

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How To Record Vocals With the N22

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