Feature: The Ingredients of Her with Totally Mild

Friday, February 23, 2018

Today, Totally Mild released their brand new album HerElizabeth Mitchell from the group shares the creative process behind the album, as well as the ingredients that make it. 

I got married in the making of this album. Most of the songs on the album are about my wife, or at the very least, came from conversations we had at the start of our relationship. Some of them are love songs, some of them are me despairing over the idea that I've fallen in love for the last time. Albums exist as a snapshot of who you were and what you believed at that time you wrote them, and when I wrote Her I really believed that I would never want anyone else except my wife. There's a beautiful naivety about the album, it's a lovesick submission to monogamy. 

Bad Feminist – Roxane Gay:
This book has probably been one of the most influential things to my feminist thinking as an adult. I really struggled with the imperfections and multiplicities that came with existing as a woman and a feminist in the world. This book is so important for its discussions of race, body politics, pop culture and intersectionality but the main takeaway for me is summed up in this quote; "I embrace the label of bad feminist because I am human. I am messy. I’m not trying to be an example. I am not trying to be perfect. I am not trying to say I have all the answers. I am not trying to say I’m right. I am just trying —trying to support what I believe in, trying to do some good in this world, trying to make some noise with my writing while also being myself". I worried for a long time that my music wasn't political enough to be feminist, but I've realised that using lyrics to self-represent as a queer woman is political in itself.

Rumours – Fleetwood Mac:
Forever obsessed with this album. I believe it could be used as the formula for the perfect pop album. I guess I also romanticise the dramatic relationships within the band, the breakups and the drama. I have very intense relationships with all of my bandmates, for better or worse, and I like to think that that intensity contributes to our music.

Mental health:
I have struggled with my mental health for as long as I can remember. I had insomnia as a child as I imagined my mother being killed on her way to her night shift. Whilst I hate the idea that you have to be unhappy to make good art or music, it is undeniable that so many of the themes in our songs stem from anxiety, depression and the substance abuse comes with trying to silence those things.

James Cecil:
Our beautiful producer James Cecil was a huge influence throughout the recording process. We spent months and months in his small studio in Brunswick, trying out synth ideas and listening to references. One of our shared idols Prince died on the day that we recorded the opening track of the album. I think our melancholy and Prince-ly feelings can be heard in the production of that song.

You can stream Her by Totally Mild below via Apple Music:

Find out about Totally Mild's upcoming gig dates here