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Mousey on “Rachel” and Heartbreak in Friendships

MSNZ

Indie singer-songwriter Mousey’s track “Rachel” propels listeners into outer space, creating a sonic vacuum of simple keys, haunting vocals and reverb-laden production that creates the feeling of floating weightlessly through the ether. Mousey herself likens the song to being in space, stating “there’s no gravity” on the track which appears on her anticipated sophomore record My Friends. Depicting an imperfect friendship as part of a larger body of work on her friends, Mousey’s “Rachel” delves into a platonic relationship between two people who have been scorned by the world. In this connection the pair feel deep care, gratitude and empathy for one another but have difficulty pushing forward with their connection to do past hurt from the world and perhaps, each other. 

Mousey reflects that My Friends is about “being let down but being loved”, as opposed to her previous album which focussed on both “being let down and being a let-down”. This is reflective in “Rachel” which conjures a specific feeling of loneliness after having being wronged, an acceptance of pain that you can surrender to and almost lie comfortably with. The stillness of Rachel creates a warm and safe space for scarred souls to ponder their heartaches and disappointments which have reared their ugly heads in the storybook of life, all the while remembering they are still loved.

In moments together we had the same feeling / we sung the same song

but the same kind of weakness / can’t touch for too long

Those who have endured the highs and lows of adult friendship know the sting of Mousey’s lyrics all too well. In these friendships you try your best to maintain the level of connection with a friend you once felt, but your character flaws are not complementary and only erode against one another, until you both feel exhausted and lost.

Did you draw from one relationship for “Rachel,” and how do you think this shaped your view on platonic connections in your life?

Yes, one relationship, with my friend Rachel, although I think that every friendship I’ve had in my life had affected my viewpoint. Every new experience has painted a piece of the picture and I am still figuring it out and probably will be for the rest of my life.

“Rachel” seems to embody a personal process of truth-telling – does this type of songwriting allow for acceptance and rebirth?

All of my songs are truth-telling, but yes, this song in particular goes down deep to hit an especially vulnerable core.

You have said that this album is about “being let down but being loved” which reflects a more hopeful tone than your last album Lemon Law, could you tell us a bit about this transition?

I wanted this new album to be a positive, wholesome experience and although I did try, my year wasn’t so positive so that is obviously going to be reflected in the writing. Life is hard and complicated and also great and beautiful. If you get hope from the album then great, if you feel comforted in your hopeless from the album then great too. It’s all in there.

The production on “Rachel” is extremely unique – did you have a specific aura in mind when writing this song?

I wrote it in the dark on my piano at home. It took its shape very easily and naturally in about an hour. The production process for me is very separate from the writing process. I never end up with what I first imagine when I produce, I just keep adapting until it feels right.

Who are your musical influences?

The list is too long. At the moment I’m super inspired by Fiona Apple, Portishead and Bjork, but when I was making My Friends I was listening to a lot of Angel Olsen, The Kinks and The Beatles. It will always be changing.

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