It is 2003 and I’m sitting in the woods, feeling so mad at myself for my shortcomings in the journey of existing as a human. Twenty years later, I’d offer myself some compassion. Also twenty years later, I’d hear the perfect soundtrack to this moment, so delicate and assertive at the same time, in Moselle’s song “Pesticides.” Moselle manages to capture a sound I associate with the ‘90s and early ‘00s—a concoction of grunge, upbeat melodies, unapologetic female vocals, and raw lyrics—with such perfection I would swear I heard this song in high school.
“What if I broke this stupid glass over my dumb head//Let all the blood run down my arms til the garden’s fed//Wait til the flowers bloom in the same place that I bled/make a bouquet hoping I’m half as useful when I’m dead?” Moselle’s poetry is a delight throughout each verse, playful and packed with metaphor, then this chorus just punches straight to the gut. The verses pour out like intrusive thoughts, rapid-fire, musing on what led us to this moment, this chorus, where so many of us have been –what if I broke this stupid glass over my dumb head? What do I even have to offer? Maybe I’ll be worth more dead. There is safety in the singsong melody that buffers the blunt state of being human, and I appreciate Moselle’s honesty as much as her musicianship. I’ve heard a few versions of this song perusing her TikTok page and she manages to capture her moment in all of them.
Moselle’s vocals have been compared to Dolores O’Riordan of the Cranberries, which I clocked immediately. “Linger” was already in my head when I scoped her other songs, and I was delighted to find her unique version of it. It would have been easy for Moselle to recreate the original, but her unique cover is so deeply haunting and mesmerizing. Moselle is planning to release an EP in the next few months, and I am looking forward to diving in further into her unabashed interpretation of being human.