Mass MoCA, meet Mitski

Indie rocker set to play Hunter Center in April

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NORTH ADAMS, MASS. — One of 2018's most critically acclaimed musicians is coming to the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in 2019.

Indie rocker Mitski will play the North Adams institution's Hunter Center on April 20, the artist announced on her social media platforms Monday before an artist presale begins Tuesday. Mass MoCA Director of Communications Jodi Joseph confirmed the booking, noting that it will be an 8 p.m. start. Tickets will be on sale to the public Friday.

"In a word, Mitski is badass," Diane Eber, Mass MoCA's associate curator of performing arts and film, wrote in a statement, "She's a young female voice in indie rock — an industry dominated by men — using music to explore her cross-cultural identity on stage, in front of a generation of young people in the throes of forming their identity. We're psyched to have her."

Multi-instrumentalist Jay Som will join Mitski for the North Adams concert, the last stop on a new slate of "Be the Cowboy" tour dates. Mitski's fifth full-length album features popular tunes such as "Nobody" and "Geyser" and has received a chorus of praise from music critics. NPR Music and The New York Times' Chief Pop Music Critic Jon Pareles both ranked "Be the Cowboy" second among all pop music records released in 2018.

"She has grown ever bolder musically, moving well beyond the confines of indie rock and chamber pop to try synthesizers, disco beats, country and more, while savoring the sweep of her voice," Pareles writes in a brief review of the album.

Mitski Miyawaki was born in Japan but raised in more than a dozen countries during her youth. The singer-songwriter released her first two albums while attending SUNY Purchase; her fourth full-length effort, "Puberty 2," established her as an indie force, buoyed by "Your Best American Girl." She has also developed a passionate social media following.

"Online, Mitski is the patron saint of #sadgirls, the subculture that uses ironic self-deprecation as a way of dealing with depression and vulnerability," Laura Snapes wrote for NPR in 2016.

Mitski might be fresh off of a Grammy Award when she arrives in North Adams; "Be the Cowboy" was nominated last week for best recording package.

Benjamin Cassidy can be reached at bcassidy@berkshireeagle.com, at @bybencassidy on Twitter and 413-496-6251.

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