Dark pop is a sub-genre that has loomed in the background of traditional top 40 pop stylings for quite some time. We saw a rise with Lorde’s Pure Heroine, followed by an influx ever since. The sub-genre has allowed many artists, especially young women, the ability to create music that focuses issues and emotions that are less than ideal while relaying them in a relatable way. One such artist is songwriter, producer and artist Mothica.
“Heavy hearts fall faster, every hurt lasts longer, every fall hits harder, and I won’t apologize for who I am,” sings McKenzie Ellis, aka Mothica, on her title track, “Heavy Heart.” Currently residing in Brooklyn, New York, Mothica was born from a desire to sing about experiences that were far from perfect. When she was 15, she tried to take her own life by jumping into oncoming traffic, but ultimately shifted her depression to fuel a healthy and creative outlet: songwriting.
In late May 2017, Mothica released a six track EP featuring tracks like “Heavy Heart,” “Self-Destructive,” and “Fall.” This comes as a follow up to her original 2015 EP titled Mythic. Both albums feature a vibe reminiscent of being “sad in the club” where “no one is dancing but me,” Mothica said in a recent interview with TeenVogue. The description is accurate; it features a ‘90s synth club atmosphere mixed with dark electronic pop drops that serve as a refreshing break from traditional top 40 radio. In the same interview, Ellis describes how she was once called “Lana Del Rey on a budget.” She said, “Well, I am on a budget, but I have no stringed arrangements in my songs. I’m not doing an old Hollywood thing, but I love Lana Del Rey.”
Mothica is where the music industry succeeds: someone who is independent of a mainstream label, creating music about personal experiences, and constantly ensuring ultimate authenticity in her work. With her ethereal bass lines, deep choruses, and electronic infusion, Mothica is creating a name for herself by pulling from influences such as Lyyke Li, Banks, and Lana Del Rey, while also defining a brand new lane for herself.
While we wait for a debut full-length album, listen to Mothica’s Heavy Heart EP below and let us know what you think.