Officially, “Cop Car” is the first new original song released by Mitski since the stellar Be the Cowboy, and plenty of music scribes have already touted it as a hopeful sign that the artist’s recently announced hiatus won’t be as long as initially feared. The veneer of brand-newness is perpetuated by Lawrence Rothman, the producer of the soundtrack album that is officially home to the Mitski track. In discussing the how “Cop Car” found its way into Floria Sigismondi’s new horror film, The Turning, Rothman enthuses about Mitski’s ability to meet precise dramatic demands.
“There is a pinnacle scene where Kate’s mind starts to unravel while in her car and we needed a cinematic but grunge influenced song shadowing the scene,” Rothman said in a statement quoted across a few sources. “I reached out to Mitski to see if she wanted to get involved as Floria and I had a feeling she would deliver a song that was guitar-based but cinematic. ‘Cop Car’ went beyond what we imagined and we were ecstatic when she sent it to us!”
In reality, Mitski didn’t strive painfully and tirelessly to come up fresh art suited to the protagonist’s mind trip. She reached into a drawer and rummaged to find a song that’s been around for at least five years. “Cop Car” is less creative rejuvenation and more a clearing of closets.
Of course, Mitski’s leftovers are stronger than most artist’s grandest new dishes. Casually sinister and melodically intoxicating, “Cop Car” is a cut worth celebrating, no matter is genealogy. If it’s going to take a while before Mitski starts in on whatever the new phase of her career might be, at least she’d got a few gems like this in reserve to provide comfort during the wait.