Asking the questions is easy - looking for answers, really searching for them, is where the real work comes in. Who’s Gonna Love Me Now?, the newest EP from Nashville-based artist Mokita, is a work of labor, aware enough to call himself into question and brave enough to investigate. For the vetted singer-songwriter, his insecurity hinges on his faith: “A lot of times, people assume your life is figured out if you’re Christian,” he comments. “I still have all those same questions and doubts. Some days are really hard. You’re searching for the cure of my emptiness. It encompasses, ‘What is the meaning of life? Why am I here?’”
While these prompts may venture too far into interrogation to address in a song, the tracks that make up WGLMN? make a good-faith effort to provide clarity, though never fully reaching closure. “Why do I still wanna get high with my friends every night? / Why do I wanna keep living like I’d rather die?” he asks on “High,” with a sincerity that is offset by the track’s energized production. This quality doesn’t detract from the track’s sentiment but adds depth; you’re likely to find yourself singing along to the plucky melody until you’re taken aback by the lyrics disguised in the song’s inherent charm. “I Can’t Help Myself” follows a similar narrative, as the guitar on the track adds a real personality that can underlie the tragedy of Mokita’s words. This contradiction is not a detriment - instead it offers listeners a guilt-free listen, able to justify the emotionally-resonant theme through intoxicating production.
The unfortunate truth about asking questions is that some won’t have answers, or at least none that are apparent. This fatal flaw drives the title track “Who’s Gonna Love Me?”, though Mokita approaches this uncertainty with genuine curiosity and passion, exhibiting a desperation that doesn’t feel helpless. He distracts himself from the future by reflecting on the past, performing an autopsy of a past relationship throughout the crescendo of “Names.” Here, Mokita wonders if it is better to have loved and lost or never loved at all: “Was it better when we were just names?” he asks, not at all rhetorically. As the percussive beat builds, you begin to think he might have a point.
Mokita is able to step outside his self-doubt on “Overdue,” if only superficially. The song tells the story of stagnation and unsatisfied desires: “I want an ocean view, I’m feeling overdue,” he muses in the chorus. When life gets boring, it's easy to imagine an escape, but the human condition is one that you can’t run from. This comes to a head on finale “Cure,” a song that plays like a journal entry because, well, it likely was. “I’m always writing about things I’m going through,” he affirms. “I journal in the morning, and I just jot down my thoughts. A lot of the songs deal with the same subject matter. Even if I feel differently, the song probably came from the journal or one of my notes.” “Cure” gives itself away in its first lyrics, with Mokita delivering an off-kilter reading that speaks to its authenticity. The track isn’t written like a pop song, choosing instead to double-down on the themes of WGLMN?: Mokita is vulnerable, revelatory, and in genuine pursuit of answers. While there’s no telling what Mokita will discover in his search for clarity, there are no doubts as to his ability to conduct a thorough investigation.