Momoko Rose’s raw, new single ‘Humans Weep’ explores her family trauma

Momoko Rose’s raw, new single ‘Humans Weep’ explores her family trauma

Words by Bella de Almeida Reis

The Melbourne-based singer unlocks a deeper side to her upcoming EP 'Anticlimactic Girl'

Originally a Torquay local, Momoko Rose’s new single ‘Humans Weep’ whisks you away into an ethereal world of soft and dreamy vocals, mellow guitars and violins, but is met with challenging raw emotions about the folk artist’s family conflict and the notions of social constructs.

Momoko shares her ability to deal with complex issues and relationships, like her estrangement from her father and brothers in 2018 to re-connecting with her mother who had breast cancer. These pivotal experiences have helped her draw conclusions about her place in the world.

“The overarching mood of the song is to overwhelm to the point of apathy. When you’re overwhelmed by your emotions you become so emotional and start to feel indifferent to everything,” the 21-year-old describes.

“To sum it up, with my family, I’ve been estranged from my extended family pretty much my whole life. My parents didn’t see either of their families.”

“I was living with my dad and couldn’t really see my mum for like five years up until where that family conflict happened. It’s that transition between being a young adult and then transitioning into adulthood and realising that the space you were in was your family, [but] the real world is so different. It was kind of emotional abuse and all of that stuff was going on while I was living in that space, and I didn’t realise that some of the things that were happening aren’t really normal things that happen. You’re coming from a place where things that are the norm get thrown out the window when you’re actually out and interacting with people and rules are rested,” explains Momoko.

With support from Queenscliff Music Festival as a winner of last year’s $10,000 Emerging Artist Grant, ‘Humans Weep’ came to life and gave Momoko the chance to experiment with a unique soundscape differing from her 2018 acoustic-feel debut EP “When I Blossom” – which was actually a product of her music course at Oxygen College.

Depicting almost #cottagecore imagery, ‘Humans Weep’ captures a dawn/dusk aesthetic which contrasts the transition between light to dark, and warm to cold. Momoko – who draws inspiration from artists like Billie Eilish, Grimes and Bjork – aims for her lyrics to be abstract with vivid imagery and metaphors, allowing them to be relatable to listeners in different ways, even if it means something completely different to her.

“More specifically, when I actually wrote that song I was working a lot of overnight shifts in fast food just trying to get by and I think it’s kind of relatable to people who work in hospitality and service industries…I guess those kind of industries where you’re not working the normal 9-5 – so it might be hospitality, entertainment – you might be working nights where everyone with their day-to-day jobs, they go out on weekends or nights. It’s part of that alienation that people can feel,” shares Momoko.

Momoko’s single was written in 2018 and then recorded in 2019 at Isaac Barter’s home studio, who has worked with the likes of Didirri and BATTS. While ‘Humans Weep’ was not intended to be released during COVID, it still deems relevant to the times by encapsulating this limbo feeling we’re experiencing at the moment.

“I’m trying to put out stuff during a time where people are looking for more content and more creative mediums to interact with because they are indoors….I feel like it’s a good time to put out this song as well because it is sort of relatable for a lot of people and a lot of the industries where jobs have been lost and also that feeling of loneliness throughout the song,” says Momoko.

Rapid fire questions:

What was the last song you listened to?
Young Love – Cleo Sol.

Describe yourself in three words.
Sarcastic, dreamy, introverted.

Who do you turn to when you’re sad?
Sufjan Stevens and my mum.

Who would be your dream dinner guest?
Anthony Albanese.

What is one item you couldn’t live without?
Anything to listen to music on.

‘Humans Weep’ is out now on all major streaming platforms, and her EP is set to come 2021. Make sure to have your tissues handy.

Make sure you check out Momoko on Instagram and Facebook.