An In-Depth Examination of Mitski’s Washing Machine Heart Lyrics

by Alex Harris

14th November, 2023

An In-Depth Examination of Mitski's Washing Machine Heart Lyrics

Mitski Miyawaki, best known by her stage name Mitski, is a renowned American singer-songwriter. Her diverse discography is filled with tracks that reflect her unique take on life and relationships.

Among her numerous popular songs, Washing Machine Heart stands out for its distinctive rhythm and profound lyrics.

Released in 2018 as part of her album Be the Cowboy, the song has garnered significant attention and interpretation for its layered meanings.

Understanding the Song

Washing Machine Heart is the twelfth track of Mitski’s Be the Cowboy album. Despite not being released as a single, it gained substantial recognition and is considered one of her most famous songs.

The song’s popularity surged with the widespread use of a slowed-down and sped-up version on the social media platform TikTok in animated recreations of famous plane crashes.

The song, with its catchy rhythm and relatable lyrics, managed to reach number 93 on the Irish Singles Chart and number 26 on the UK Indie Charts. Notably, the song has also been described as a “deranged domestic ballad with a pleasantly disorienting beat.”

Lyric Interpretation

The Mitski washing machine heart lyrics are a blend of emotional intensity and vivid imagery. The song’s protagonist is presented as a woman who feels helpless and compensates by exerting extreme control over herself and her surroundings.

However, this control is portrayed as unnatural and unhealthy, leading to her unravelling. There is an innate warmth and humanity that she suppresses to appear strong to the world.

This portrayal captures the complexities of human emotions and the struggle to maintain control amidst chaos.

In the song, Mitski uses the metaphor of a washing machine to symbolise the protagonist’s heart.

The heavy backbeat of the track parallels the sound of a washing machine and the throbbing of a fervent heart.

This effective use of sound and metaphor adds depth to the washing machine heart lyrics, enriching the listener’s experience.

Music Video Interpretation

Zia Anger directed a black-and-white music video to go along with the song. Mitski credited Tidal with providing her the opportunity to create the video and noted that the creative team consisted of her frequent collaborators.

In the music video, Mitski is portrayed as a femme fatale from an old noir film. Her lyrics plea for a kiss, likely from a shadowy figure lurking in the background.

The monochrome video accentuates the drama and the soured longing inherent in the song’s lyrics.

Public Response and Impact

Washing Machine Heart, with its captivating Mitski washing machine heart lyrics, has left a significant imprint on the music industry. The song’s popularity on TikTok has further boosted its global reach.

Its viral spread on the platform is a testament to the song’s relatability and appeal to a wide audience.

Moreover, the song’s distinct sound and innovative lyrics have earned it a spot on several music charts. Its high ranking on the Irish Singles Chart and the UK Indie Charts underscores its international appeal and success.

Despite not being released as a single, the song has managed to carve out a unique space for itself in Mitski’s discography and the broader music landscape.

Its popularity and impact are a testament to the power of innovative music and profound lyrics.

Mitski Be The Cowboy album cover
Mitski Be The Cowboy album cover

Final Thoughts

Mitski’s Washing Machine Heart is an embodiment of emotional complexity and musical innovation.

The lyrics delve into the human psyche’s depths, exploring themes of control, strength, and vulnerability.

The song’s distinct sound, coupled with its profound lyrics, offers listeners an immersive and thought-provoking musical experience.

The song’s success and its resonance with listeners worldwide speak volumes about Mitski’s lyrical and musical prowess.

Her ability to weave intricate emotions into catchy tunes sets her apart in the music industry and cements her status as a truly unique artist.

Mitski Washing Machine Heart Lyrics

Verse 1
Toss your dirty shoes in my washing machine heart
Baby, bang it up inside
I’m not wearing my usual lipstick
I thought maybe we would kiss tonight

Baby, will you kiss me already?
And toss your dirty shoes in my washing machine heart
Baby, bang it up inside

Verse 2
Baby, though I’ve closed my eyes
I know who you pretend I am
I know who you pretend I am

But, do-mi-ti
Why not me? Why not me?
Why not me? Why not me?

Why not me? Why not me?

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