I haven’t truly felt tastefully sad in a minute, but I am so thankful Mothica was able to bring that back for me through her amazing debut album Blue Hour which was recently released at the end of August. Mothica, neé McKenzie Ellis, is an Oklahoma-born and LA-based, electro-pop songstress. The 12-track project is a deep, dark journey through the depths of her mind and the real struggles she faced with addiction and mental health and the process of getting sober. With a sound much like Halsey, Banks, and Elohim, she continues this emerging trend of the sad, yet strong girl that is relatable, relentless, heartbreaking, and comforting. The rawness in each song hits harder as you begin to resonate with the lyrics more and are caressed by her haunting vocals. With the intensity in each of the layers hidden within the productions you end up following Alice down her rabbit hole, with each song feeling completely different from and equally as good as the others. Ultimately, you end up growing with the artist, and it’s the track-by-track sonic narrative that makes the listening experience an epic adventure of the heart and a true test of mind over matter. It’s the recognition of the agony and severity of the spirals that bring more meaning to the music developed in Blue Hour.
In addition to the project, the official music video for her single “VICES” was released which you can watch here. This album was written over the course of a few months, and it all was inspired by one of the worst experiences Mothica ever endured, staying at a psych ward for self-harm. Mothica has had a life of traumatic episodes including: sexual abuse from a youth pastor, self-harm, a suicide attempt, hospitalizations, and addiction to drugs and alcohol. With all of this said, she was able to transfer her pain into the musical craft she designs today. Thus, 2015 marked the release of her debut EP Mythic via SoundCloud which was written, produced, and performed by Mothica herself. This was the initially introduction of Mothica to the music scene.
“FOLLOWING THAT INCIDENT, I SOUGHT THERAPY AND WROTE LYRICS DETAILING MY JOURNEY INTO SOBRIETY. I AM NOW 13 MONTHS SOBER AT THE TIME OF WRITING THIS, AND HAVE NEVER BEEN IN A BETTER PLACE EMOTIONALLY”, SAYS MOTHICA.
Mothica has proven the connection of her music through her success as an independent artist. With over 100 million streams and almost 1 million monthly listeners on Spotify, she has been recognized by outlets such as Teen Vogue, BuzzFeed, Ones to Watch, and many more. She also recently went viral on TikTok by posting a clip of her recent single “VICES” which then led to the immediate positioning on the Billboard charts.
Overall, it’s her honesty and musical range that shines through and is what led to the loyal fan base she has today.
We are excited to have had the chance to chat with the artist and find out more from her on the project and her passions through music and other mediums.
Here is our interview:
Channel Sounds [CS]: What inspired Blue Hour?
Mothica [M]: “The title is inspired by the time of day, blue hour, which is a little known phrase for when the sky is an especially vibrant blue after sunset. Lyrically, the album is inspired by my journey into sobriety and understanding my addiction.”
[CS]: What is the process of putting together an album for you like?
“This is my first album, so it was very disorganized and chaotic, but that's kind of how my brain works. I would make changes sonically based on impulse and luckily worked with a lot of friends who helped bring my concepts to life!”
[CS]: How has music fueled your ability to channel your self-expression?
[M]: “Writing music is so important for me to express complex emotions that I can't talk about out loud. I never felt like I was naturally talented in my musical ability, but I felt like I had stories and ideas and visuals and so I found a way to express that in my songs. For me, I have to be juggling a lot of things at once to feel stimulated so I also take full control of the visuals, music videos, merch designs, and other creative projects!”
[CS]: What separates this project from others you have created and released in the past?
[M]: “I released three EP's before this and a lot of collaborations. This is the most cohesive project I've released because the songs tell a story start to finish. I really do feel like albums are a time capsule, and I'm grateful that my first-time capsule is about my sobriety. I couldn't write any of those songs now that I've been sober for longer, so it's really special to have that.”
[CS]: What is your detour?
[M]: “Probably mood boarding. I love feeling inspired and if I'm feeling down creatively, I turn to Pinterest, Tumblr, or my huge list of movies to watch and try to feel the magic again.“
6. In one word, how would you describe yourself?
Mothica, it was a pleasure chatting with you, and we are a huge fan of the new project. Excited for more to come for you!