#70 Anaïs Mitchell: Anaïs Mitchell

Anaïs Mitchell was born in Vermont in 1981 to a novellist father and secretary mother. She was raised as a Quaker and attended Middlebury College. She first began writing music in 1998, aged 17, and after receiving numerous awards recognising her talents she eventually self-released her first album, ‘The Songs They Sang… When Rome Fell‘, in 2002. She would release other records to generally positive reception but muted commercial success, but at the same time she began the draft of a ‘folk-opera’ that would become her big breakthrough.

The musical ‘Hadestown‘ was first performed in 2006, and was a massive commercial and critical success. It grew and grew in both notoriety and popularity over the next decade, finally debuting on Broadway in 2019. At the 73rd Tony awards in 2019, ‘Hadestown’ was nominated for fourteen awards and won eight of them. Anaïs Mitchell released the studio album based on the musical in 2010, to universal acclaim. It was no clear that…

No, sorry, I can’t do this shit anymore…

Ber-leh! Ber-leh! Ber-leh!* God, that was painful. Imagine if that was how I wrote? With all the press release/Wikipedia page backstory, humourlessly striving to satisfy my editor’s word count? Christ, do you know how many fucking amazing jokes I thought of while writing those sterile couple of paragraphs?? Like… hundreds… No, I can’t remember them now, obviously, but trust me – they were fire. Yes, they all involved penises and/or vaginas, what’s your point? I happen to believe that sophomoric humor is still a valid vehicle for my art, and if anything you are outing yourself as far more puerile for refusing to recognise that.

That’s fucking genius…

(*It’s called ‘onomatopoeia’, maybe read a book sometime, yeah?)

The reason I reigned everything in, despite most of you just hoping I’ll do another post with barely any words featuring a series of images where I turn into a pigeon, was to make a point. Because, let it not be forgot – and I can’t stress this enough – I am very smart. Imagine if, despite my earlier work giving you the impression that I took more risks with the form or attempted to have more fun with the conceit – if you believed, with justifiable evidence, that I was some sort of expert at my own craft – my next post was a competent, often impressive, but altogether more straitlaced affair. What if you really liked the post, but were kinda let down with how few risks it took and how safe it decided to play it?

With that segue, allow me to introduce you all to Anaïs Mitchell’s self-titled eighth album.

Yeah you better salute

Yo! Duuuuuuuuude! Check out that turn back to the album we’re talking about! Did you get the thematic link with that parable I was telling?? Very clever. That’s why I’m the best, that’s what I’m bringing to table, that’s the kind of shit I’ve got stored up here that I can just throw down whenever it’s needed. Bow down, people, bow down.

Yeah, but the ‘Anaïs Mitchell’ is really good. Some lovely stuff. I guess… I just think she’s capable of far more?

2010 #2

Metacritic: 83

2 thoughts on “#70 Anaïs Mitchell: Anaïs Mitchell

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