Singer, songwriter, and advocate Mogli can now add filmmaker to her list of accomplishments. After gaining international attention for her debut album Wanderer in 2017, Mogli has now embarked on a creative cinematic journey of self-discovery and healing for her new album, Ravageout May 12.
“I have learned that it is very rewarding and can make you happy if you can be brave enough to be vulnerable,” shares Mogli. “We are lacking empathy in the world and vulnerability is a way toward more empathy. If you can share how you feel, it gives people a chance to understand you.”
The new album is accompanied by a beautiful film, which Mogli conceived, created, and executed, and features all 10 songs from the project. Throughout the film, each emotion of Fear and Bravery (played by Mogli), Melancholy, Love, Rage, Insecurity, and Mirth are brought to life through Mogli’s vision.
Ahead of the release, Mogli has shared three songs—“Echo,” about the moment of clarity when you realize you need to be alone to overcome your fears and find your voice, “Animal,” a meditation on self-destruction and the dominance that pleasure can hold over you and “Mirror,” an indie-pop track that builds from an ethereal soundscape and tender vocals into a sweeping, pulsating chorus—from Ravage to help unravel her cathartic journey.
In addition, Ravage also tackles topics important to Mogli because of her lived experiences, like self-empowerment, feminism, toxic masculinity, and social problems like climate change.
Check out the trailer below.
In her own words, Mogli takes American Songwriter readers through a track-by-track rundown of Ravage.
I can go for some time without realizing something is amiss but as soon as I do I need to change.
“Echo” is about this moment of realization that had so much power for me because it made me walk in the right direction even though I didn’t know where I was going. This song is the catalyst for the whole journey ahead. It’s telling you to never settle and to find your own voice in this world. Songwriting-wise this was the first time that I kind of took on the perspective of a friend and addressed myself. With these lyrics, I am pep-talking myself into being brave enough to change my life and it worked. It’s beautiful that music and songwriting can do that.
It takes so much courage to walk into the unknown. With nothing other to hold on to than the certainty that I’m leaving a toxic situation, I was pep talking myself into building a new life despite being scared.
In the session with my producer for “The Current” we first came up with the bass line that kind of became the hook. This set the tone and the rest of the song followed. I’m proud of the lyric: but after dawn, the dark is ravenous cause it’s such a fitting image for depression.
“Ghost” is about loss but it’s not grieving a relationship – it’s grieving what this relationship had made me. After the breakup, everything changed at such a fast pace, and I knew that I radically wasn’t who I was before, but I didn’t know who I had become, I was lost. This was the first time depression hit me hard, and I was dealing with it alone in a new and anonymous town like Berlin. One detail that I love about “Ghost” is how the drums came together. I love combining organic and electronic elements: In the second verse, the percussive elements were played on a theremin which is a really cool way of doing that.
As someone who trusts her gut 100 percent, it was devastating for me to realize depression brought toxic voices with it that disguised as my own intuition. Every line in “Bones” can be read as benevolent or cynical from the pain because I couldn’t distinguish anymore. I love the use of the octave on my voice in contrast to a really airy reverb-y vocal sound on other lines to emphasize that.
Aftermath is an inward movement. Through reflecting on which parts of me didn’t have enough space in my past life, I’m reflecting on my personality in general. Observing ourselves, our strengths, and our weaknesses is an important step in healing. We recorded street sounds in New York for this song because the anonymity of the city reflects the vibe of the song for us.
“Animal” addresses another side of healing. Artists can be quite self-destructive in various ways but that’s not all bad. If you let your demons out to play sometimes they might leave you alone when you don’t want them around. I could be talking about drugs or a person I love – who knows? maybe both? Normally I write songs with my producers and the demo always sounds very similar to the finished song because production is part of songwriting for us. With “Animal” it was very different. I wrote it in LA with Emmit Fenn in a short session while on my US tour and it sounded nothing like it sounds now. I kind of only took the top line and made a new song out of it back home with the techno drop.
Coming out of a relationship that suppressed who I was—someone with an abundance of emotions—I quickly developed feelings for someone similar to me. Though well-meaning, we weren’t good for each other at all, and “Mirror” ruminates on this battle we fought to let each other go and confront my own toxic potential. In the session for “Mirror”, I played the bass line in the chorus. This reflects how, somehow, bass to me feels like the main act rather than a supporting act, so I often use it for melodies.
All understood too often means all forgiven. It can be hard for empaths to be angry with someone but sometimes it is needed for that initial detachment. You can let go and forgive later. We wrote the guitar solo in the end with a vision of me playing it on stage. I just came back from band rehearsal and it’s such a good feeling to be finally playing it.
“Ravage” is the end of a journey but only because it is a new beginning. It’s a full-circle moment because like in “Echo,” I don’t know where I’m heading. But this time I’m not scared. I’m celebrating my transformation and autonomy knowing life will bring happiness as it will bring pain but I’m ready for all of it because I learned to be brave.
I wrote “Release” when I was still very depressed, but I instantly knew that it would be the last song on this record. It was kind of a way of telling me things were going to be okay again sometime. The future me talking to me right now releasing me from my pain. So, it’s still sad but there is so much hope in it. It’s sad because it’s hugging the pain. Deciding you want to be better from now on also means realizing that you’re at your lowest. It’s the song that means the most to me on the album because it made me choose happiness by opening up that tiny window of possibility that I wouldn’t always feel like fucking shit. It’s crazy that music can do that. Writing this record healed me.
Check out the film below.
Photos by Giulia Daley