Dark Light

Released: 2024

When it comes to deep dives of pop culture, there’s Mitski for you, a gifted songstress who knows how to create poignant, unexpectedly metaphorical ballads. Her song, “Buffalo Replaced – Spotify Singles”, tugs at the dichotomy between freedom and the yearning for domesticity. It also explores the relentless progress of time, symbolized by the unstoppable freight train, and the relationship between nature and human civilization, drawing a parallel to the displacement of buffalo herds with modern modes of transportation.

In the first verse, Mitski opens up with melancholic indifference, “Mosquitoes can enjoy me, I can’t go inside,” symbolizing a self-imposed exile in the outdoor world. The mention of the moon, fireflies, and the procession of the train pull us into a contemplation about our relationship with nature and progress. She adds a touch of nostalgia with the line, “Someone out here burnin’ something, kids feelin’ alive,” recalling innocent times spent outdoors in the heat of youth. The repeated refrain, “Like the new buffalo replaced,” hammers in the crux of the song – the inexorable tide of change, symbolized by the displacement and replacement of buffalo by trains, indicating the relentless march of human advancement.

The second verse shifts gears. It dives into a personal space, probing the complexities of a relationship. “I have a hope and though she is blind with no name, She shits where she’s supposed to, feeds herself while I’m away.” Here, Mitski seems to address a pet or a symbolic representation of a relationship, implying a sense of obligation intertwined with affection. Mitski wrestles with the thought, “Sometimes I think it would be easier without her,” revealing inner conflicts and struggles. But in the same breath, she acknowledges the consolation drawn from the sight of the sleeping face that brings her a sense of security. Again, Mitski alludes to the freight train, this time howling like a beast set free, signifying the continuation of life and progress, pulling her away from the haunting displacements of past and present.

“Buffalo Replaced” works on various levels. It’s a song that wanders between the realm of personal struggles and broader questions of change in society and the environment. Mitski uses vivid imagery and evocative metaphors to seamlessly weave together these seemingly different themes into a coherent narrative. The song is a testament to Mitski’s knack for creating profound narratives that inspire introspection and reflection on the human condition.

Related Posts