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“Let’s step carefully into the dark,” Mitski sings to begin her new album, “Laurel Hell,” and continues, “Once we’re in I’ll remember my way around.”

Strategic, sure-footed, vulnerable and prepared to face all sorts of trouble: That sums up Mitski’s songwriting as it has unfolded on the albums she has been making since she was a music student in 2012. Over the decade, the Japanese American singer has chronicled yearnings, frustrations, messy romances, the life of a performer and the persistence of doubts and questions. Along the way, her music has moved through piano-centered orchestral pop, guitar-driven indie-rock and, with “Be the Cowboy” in 2018, a willingness to try for pop bangers.

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