2023Released
1:44

Did You Know?

Interesting facts and trivia about When Memories Snow. By Songfacts®.

Mitski is a very poetic songwriter, which is on display in "When Memories Snow," where she does a bit of visualization, picturing her memories as snow cover that she shovels away to clear a path to the store. Later in the song, she switches fields, finding herself alone in the dark with thoughts of the "thousand hands that clap for me in the dark." The song is just two verses with no chorus. The title appears only in the first line.

Mitski posted a video where she told the story behind "When Memories Snow." "This song was an undertaking and I'm really glad it worked out," she said. "When I was first writing it I was writing it on piano and I was learning about and experimenting with chords used by the sho instrument. The sho is a traditional Japanese reed instrument and its chords don't follow what we would consider standard Western harmonic structure. I was playing around with the chords, and in the beginning of the track you can hear the piano playing - those are the chords I started out with, and we do have a bit of the sho's instrument sound in the resulting track as well. You can hear it especially towards the end - it's that really high reedy sound. I wrote it on piano. I had the vocal melody but I didn't really know how to arrange it. The only thing I could hear in my head was random choral sopranos, but that would be a weird track if it was just piano, my voice, and then random sopranos. So the producer Patrick Hyland and I were trying to figure out how to produce the song, how to make it into a track. He came up with this idea, maybe we should divide it into two parts, the first part being inspired by Ennio Morricone's Western movie soundtracks as well as the style of the bolero, and the second half being inspired by British Invasion rock sound. That's where we started. Obviously we kept building and building on that where now I don't know if you'd be able to hear the British Invasion part, but that was the original experiment. So we worked off of that and we ended up just throwing everything at it. We have the band, we have the orchestra, we have the full choir and we have the sho and other midi instruments. We just threw everything at it and made it into this huge track that I'm honestly very happy with."

The song is part of Mitski's seventh album, The Land Is Inhospitable and So Are We. The album title is a play on the welcome signs you see on the highway as you cross state lines. She imagined one that isn't so welcoming but reflects the reality of a divided nation.

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Song Analysis

Key, BPM (tempo) and time signature of When Memories Snow.
DKey
MajorMode
4/4Time Signature
115BPM

Album

The album When Memories Snow is released on.

Released By

The record label that has released When Memories Snow.
Dead Oceans
2023 Dead Oceans
2023 Dead Oceans

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