“Working for the Knife”
Mitski is back, and she’s still the cowboy. “Working for the Knife” is her first single after her three-year hiatus following Be the Cowboy (VMP Essentials No. 68 back in August 2018). In an interview with VMP at the time of her last record’s release, Mitski told us: “You don’t really get that in the rest of your life, but when you go to a show, for just that little moment, you can experience your dream, you can sort through your emotions, and that’s always been really important to me. And I take my job really seriously.”
“Working for the Knife” is still very much in line with the things Mitski was thinking about in 2018: fame, performance as a job, experiencing dreams. The visuals for the song have Mitski dancing alone at a performance venue, ending with the music cutting out, the only sounds from her labored breathing and physical choreography as she collapses on the stage.
Definitely high on drama and theatrics, Mitski said of “Working for the Knife” in a statement, “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. It’s being confronted with a world that doesn’t seem to recognize your humanity, and seeing no way out of it.”