I have been aware of Mothica since 2020, when her song "Vices" blew up on TikTok. That year she also released an album, with multiple songs that I enjoyed. So, when I realized she released an album in July 2022, I knew I wanted to take a listen.
The first thing I noticed when looking up the album was how short the songs are. Of the 17 tracks on the album, three are under a minute, and just 2 songs are over 3 minutes. After a little research I found that the 3 songs under a minute are interludes. However shorter songs are becoming more and more the norm, so the average length of about 2:12 did not come as a surprise.
The album starts out with "SLEEPWALK" a very mysterious, lo-fi, vibey song. Next up is the title track, "NOCTURNAL" which had a lot of electronic influence before going into a more rock influenced guitar section. Next is the second most streamed song from the album, "SENSITIVE." This song has good lyrics, and fun production choices, with lots of elements that remind me of a carnival. "HIGHLIGHTS" is next, and is one of my favorite songs on the album. Although I don't love some of the production choices, I really enjoy the lyrics. "I" is the first of three interludes on the album, featuring "Moth Man" with relaxing music in the background. Thus closes the first 'act' of the album.
Act two begins with the most streamed song from the album, "CASUALTY." There is a much stronger pop-punk influence in this song than had been in the previous ones. There is a lot more guitar and drums than in the earlier songs on the album. Next is "LAST CIGARETTE(feat Au/Ra)" which seems to have more of an electronic and pop influence. Although I added this song to my playlist, it is very much a 'background music' song to me. "BACK OF MY MIND" is the next song on the album. I really enjoyed aspects of the song, and it would have been one of my top songs from the album if it had a stronger beat drop. I felt like it built up to one, but it never had a really strong drop like I was expecting. "II" is the second interlude track on the album, and the end of the second section of the album.
"R.E.M." is the 10th song on the album, and the first song of the third act. It felt like the slowest song on the album, and it is the longest at 3:04. This song is very forgettable to me, as nothing really stood out or caught my attention. "BEDTIME STORIES" is one of my favorites from the album both lyrically and musically. Next is "LULLABYE" which flows very nicely from the previous song. Elements of this song really reminded me of Melanie Martinez on "Crybaby." "III" acts as the closer of act three, and once again features Moth Man speaking over calming music.
The fourth, and final, section of the album begins with "ABSINTHE," which has more pop influences. Although not my favorite, I did send this song to a friend I thought would like it, and they did! "THE RECKONING (feat. Polyphia)" felt quite different than the rest of the album. It felt darker(which I love) than some of the other songs, mostly due to the instrumentation from Polyphia. Next is "BLOOD," which I enjoyed, but didn't really stand out to me. The final song is "TEARS, " which starts off softer, with somewhat distorted vocals before clearing up, and adding some stronger instrumentation.
Despite some songs I didn't love, overall I think this is a great sophomore album from Mothica and I enjoyed the listen. If you like female alt/pop-rock, you may want to give this album a listen here!