McKenzie Ellis was only eleven years old when Bring Me The Horizon’s Count Your Blessings came out – long before she began independently releasing music as Mothica. This led her to discover bands like MyChildren MyBride, Emmure, and Born Of Osiris in middle school. In the resurgence of pop punk in this decade, Ellis encountered Jeris Johnson’s remix of Bring Me The Horizon’s “Can You Feel My Heart.” A lightbulb switched on instantly, and the melody you hear on Mothica's version of the track was recorded only hours later with her mixing engineer. Ellis’ rendition of the remix has now been viewed over half a million times on TikTok (one of those viewers was Bring Me The Horizon frontman Oliver Sykes).
Ellis quickly recorded her own derivative of the track with her own lyrics in the chorus and a more rock-heavy feel that leans back in the direction of the original instrumental. Thematically, “Can You Feel My Heart” managed to age with Mothica through a decade, developing new layers of meaning along the way. “When I was recording this cover,” explains Ellis. “The bridge really took on a new meaning to me in my sobriety. Something I wouldn’t have felt when it first came out.”
The visual for “Can You Feel My Heart” was filmed in a red velvet room with fish-eye lenses and flashlights – a departure from the soft hues of her most recent record, Blue Hour. Sam Halleen directed the music video and Ellis styled herself in all black. The biggest roadblock? “We tried to grab some shots by this neon gas station but we got yelled at and I ran away,” recalls Ellis.
As Mothica evolves on TikTok and beyond, she is growing to weld elements of pop punk into her sound. “I grew up on Paramore and Warped Tour bands but I never felt like I could incorporate that in my songs. Like I wasn’t cool enough or something. I’ve been incorporating guitar and more driving drums in my new music,” shares Ellis. “I’ll always love a good pop song, but I want to play with a lot of genres.”
After releasing Blue Hour only a few months ago, Ellis is already gearing up to release a new EP titled Forever Fifteen (the title track of which tells the story of her attempted suicide). “I wrote Blue Hour before and in the early days of getting sober. It’s an emotional and more electronic sound, like this big, blue wave,” she explains. “My new EP Forever Fifteen is more colorful and at times, angrier. I finally got to talk about all the other emotions that came up after being sober for over a year. Body image issues, sexual assault, misogyny, and optimistic nihilism.”