MOTHICA Unveils Dreamy Full-Length, “Nocturnal”
This Friday, July 1st, rising alt-pop artist, MOTHICA, releases her highly-anticipated second full-length album, Nocturnal. A fully-fledged concept, rich in nighttime themed tracks, lyrics, and visuals, the seventeen track album, launched on her very own imprint, Heavy Heart Records, is a beautifully executed next chapter of her music journey.
While MOTHICA’s self-released debut record, Blue Hour, was inspired by the sky’s final moments before complete darkness, Nocturnal descends into nighttime, reflecting on MOTHICA’s strange relationship with sleep. At seventeen tracks, Nocturnal evokes the imagery and feeling of the late-night hours and follows an ethereal narrative that explores the darker aspects of her mind. The album’s interludes are voiced by a live-action moth character designed by Mothica herself. The album was written and recorded over the course of 2021 with various producers and collaborators, including Colin Brittain (Papa Roach, 5SOS) who helmed the previously released single “CASUALTY.” Nocturnal sees MOTHICA create alt-pop music that is equal parts heavy and hopeful.
Making catchy alt-pop about difficult subject matters, MOTHICA has racked up 200M global streams and has collaborated with artists like nothing,nowhere., Royal & the Serpent, and MEMBA. She has built a passionate fanbase that connects with her openness on past traumas, battle with depression, and sobriety. MOTHICA seeks to challenge stigmas surrounding mental health with her inspiring message, using music as an outlet to depict a shared experience that anyone could relate to.
We have broken down our first-impressions of each track. Check them out below:
“Sleepwalk” introduces us to a freshly cut, slow dance as MOTHICA’s vocals pour into the soundscape with a noise straight from an old record player. The older soul feel the song bathes into the soundscape offers a preview into the blend of eras and thematics the visuals and the overall concept of the album has to offer, all while showcasing her skillset and how it defies genre.
Next, the likes of “Nocturnal” sonically echoes that of her previous album, Blue Hour, with its heavy beat and emotionally-gripping vocals and richly vivid lyricism. As she sings of her comfort of the dark and fears of unveiling all her innermost darkness, the song transitions into a heavier, electric guitar and rock bridge before fading into the next track.
“Sensitive” was one of our first looks into MOTHICA’s next era as an artist. As one of the singles launched before the album, we were able to build in our excitement for the heavy dance beats enmeshed with an echo of metal instrumentals as her vocals shine on display. Read our review below. As her self-proclaimed anthem for those soft souls that have had to play it tough out of fear of showing their emotions, the electric guitar blares a heavily infectious riff to contrast her soft vocals.
Next, “Highlights” begins with a heavy first verse, “you love the drugs but hate the addict,” showcasing the meaning of the track on full display; when all the fears of darkness and parts we hate about ourselves are being exposed into the light and instead of being supported and loved, we are judged harshly for it, just as we fear. Hitting a peak emotionally throughout the lyrics, the instrumentals remain pure and stripped back in comparison to the rest of the album thus far until the bridge, where her vocals distort and an explosion of guitar and heavy beats take over until the song’s conclusion.
Throughout the album, there are a few, well-placed interludes. Sampling audio from various older films, “I,” talks about taking deep breaths and counting down from three.
“Casualty” is another single that was released to tease the release of Nocturnal; read our full review below.
Next in the album, “Last Cigarette” includes a feature with AU/RA. The creatively written track includes a music video that embodies the mood of an old detective noir film as MOTHICA tries to find Mothman, a creature that haunts her dreams. Read our full review of the single below!
“Back of My Mind” changes the album’s pace with its haunting intro, leaving instrumentals to a steady beat to allow the lyrics to hit their full weight into the listener. “You had one hand to the side, you grabbed my thigh, my ride or die,” she sings in the first verse. As things appear to be going well at first, we hear the innermost thoughts that linger in the back of the mind, all the worries and red flags and second-guessing. Then the bridge reveals in the fullest, the anxieties of being lonely and the feeling that you cannot shake the weight the person you loved who left held on you.
The second interlude is a short reprieve, an intricate and calming piano composition before a recording tells the listener to relax, unclench the jaw, and hold on.
Next, “R.E.M.” transitions beautifully into the ears as the intro fades in with a slowed tone. Feeling much like a dream sonically throughout the track, the song processes through the fear of repeating the same old patterns, the struggle of letting one’s guard down, and beginning anew despite the trauma from before.
“Bedtime Stories” was released as a double single with “Blood.” Read our full review of both below:
Next, “Lullaby” includes a special feature. Another track much like MOTHICA’s previous era sonically, the album’s concept truly has a chance to shine with the nighttime themes as she channels her story through it. Battling sleeplessness, the restless energy processes its listener through a lullaby of her own creation as she battles sleep paralysis and darkness.
The third interlude changes the tune and encourages the listener that if they cannot find sleep after all of the struggles, they can find a state of acceptance. The track concludes with the statement, “So don’t give up, little moth. Keep chasing the light.”
The intoxicating melody of “Absinthe” contrasts a roar of electric guitar in the background. Showcasing the toxicity and bad patterns that occur in a bad relationship, it, too, processes through the trauma and what follows throughout the lyrics. All while using vivid visuals of the effects of alcohol to the system, MOTHICA sings in the chorus, “absinthe makes the heart grow bitter when it hits my vision.”
Showcasing a feature with Polyphia‘s own Tim Henson, “The Reckoning” is the perfect track channeling feminine rage. While pretty much any woman can identify with the weight and worry of looking over our shoulders as we simply exist in a public space, this song takes its own claim and channels the exhaustion and anger of the way the world is and how it can be hard to simply be, even without the power of men shaking us down, creeping around, and shattering the innocence and hope of women everywhere. This song takes charge of the fear and transforms it into rebellion and revenge.
The album concludes with “Tears,” and it remains in perfect theme to MOTHICA’s style, where she sums up the album’s concept, this time with the statement “look what I made with my tears.”
What was your favorite track from the album? Let us know in the comments!
Stream the album now, available on all listening platforms: