Deconstruction of chords in Mitski's "Nobody" tune

The Point blank's Head of Curriculum Ski Oakenfull returns with another deconstruction, this time in a more stripped-back format. The track in question is the new single, ‘Nobody’, by Japanese-American songwriter and performer Mitski. Ski saw her deconstruct her vocals for the website Genius and decided he would make an instrumental accompaniment and deconstruct the chords, and all for your benefit, dear reader! Check out Ski’s catalogue of deconstructions on PB's YouTube channel, and don’t forget to check out their production courses in London and Online for more in-depth tuition.

Mitski has been releasing albums since the age of 20, kicking off her career with two classically-influenced albums in ‘Lush’ and ‘Retired from Sad, New Career in Business’. Her third LP, ‘Bury Me at Makeout Creek’ marked a departure to a more lo-fi, guitar-driven sound, earning her a cult following in the process. It was her last record, 2016’s ‘Puberty 2’, however, that catapulted her to her current position as one of the most exciting songwriters in the business (she has been described as such by the likes of Iggy Pop). The album is totally disarming, marrying a sensuous sense of proximity with more intricately layered instrumentals, and her undeniable talent for writing lyrics, almost uncomfortable in their directness.

Two years on and we are at the beginning of another album cycle for Mitski. The subject of this deconstruction follows the first single from ‘Be the Cowboy’, ‘Geyser’, with the album slated for release on 17 August. Where ‘Geyser’ trod a familiar path of swelling, dynamic instrumentation and aching vocal delivery, ‘Nobody’ veers closer to pure pop, with a four to the flour beat and more than a hint of disco. She also returns to the piano for the first time since her second LP and, as Ski reveals, demonstrates an impressive mastery of chord progressions. It’s infectious and catchy yet, as is Mitski’s won't be hidden beneath its sunny disposition lie poignant and relatable snippets of this emotional life. Why wouldn’t you want to learn to play it?

By Saša, edited on 30 August 2018