ALT-POP QUEENS MOTHICA AND AU/RA REMINISCE ON BAD DECISIONS AND RELATIONSHIPS WITH “LAST CIGARETTE”

“Last Cigarette” album art

There is nothing more vulnerable than putting emotions on full display for all to see, especially in the context of art for the masses to consume. Whether it’s depression, mental illnesses, assault, trauma, relationships gone wrong or some combination thereof, there’s still quite taboo around certain topics that are hard to talk about, much less sing. Thankfully, Mothica delivers a banger that tackles many such hard-hitting themes on her collaborative single, “Last Cigarette,” featuring Au/Ra.

“Last Cigarette” is incredibly biting, both in tone and style. With a chorus like, “Treat me like your last cigarette, ah / Put me down and pick me up again, ah / You can be the dagger that I put in my own back / Make tonight the night we both regret,” it’s not hard to read into the destructiveness of the song’s relationship and see how it could be tied into latent anxieties and trauma. As Mothica says about her inspiration for the song:

“I wrote ‘Last Cigarette’ about someone I met who reminded me of myself in a toxic way … We shared a lot of pessimistic tendencies, and it reminded me of trying to quit cigarettes, something that we all know is bad for you, but there’s still this allure to be caught in a negative cycle.”

As such, the sound on the track is grunge-y and dark yet surprisingly upbeat, with lots of distorted bass and trap beats underneath Mothica and Au/Ra’s mezzo and soprano vocals, respectively. Their voices complement each other well, as do their appearances in the film noir-inspired music video where Mothica plays a hard-boiled detective and Au/Ra dons a femme fatale get-up. It’s all dramatic lighting and smoky rooms, while also poking fun at the absurdities of the genre as Mothica pursues a “Mothman” with a giant net — a bit of needed levity for a song deeply entrenched in bad habits and people.

Mental illnesses and less-than-good relationships may be hard topics to swallow. But with Mothica, listeners can at the very least have solid music to ease the pain a little. Mothica’s upcoming studio album, Nocturnal, will release sometime this year — stay tuned for more information here. She will also be on tour this summer with Coheed and Cambria and Dance Gavin Dance starting July 12, with additional appearances at the So What?! Music Festival on May 28 and the Aftershock Festival on October 8. Take a listen and give a watch to Mothica’s collaboration with Au/Ra, “Last Cigarette,” below!

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