Many of us know the feeling of giving more than we get from friends and relations. We do it to ourselves. No one is purposely taking advantage of us. We offer out of love or commitment or some sense of obligation that really isn’t there except in our heads. Miki Ratsula understands this, and they have learned the importance of self-care. The Southern California-based, Finnish-American nonbinary artist addresses the topic on their new lyric video (and latest single), “suffocate”, featuring Los Angeles-based singer Lauren Sanderson.
The song moves to a gentle rhythm, as signified by the video’s water movement and the narrative concept of a road trip in the lyrics. The protagonist is going somewhere to someone but needs to chill. The words concern the baggage and the weight they carry and the need to put it down before being overwhelmed. “I owe it to myself to be honest” and accept my own needs, they declare. The voices and instrumentation offer a Zen-like approach to calmness. It works: the music overwhelms the anxiety and lets one find peace.
Miki Ratsula may not seem ambitious here. They are not trying to change the world. They are trying to find their place in it even when sitting alone by the water in the woods. Maybe that is world-changing—in the transcendent sense. All they have to do is breathe, lest one “suffocate”.