Mars!, otherwise known as Mars McGregor, released an EP exploring their experience coping with depression.
Ontario singer-songwriter Mars!, or Mars McGregor, has been creating music since the age of 13. A student studying music at Carleton University, McGregor describes their music as a mix between electronic and acoustic instrumentation.
"My style is an amalgamation of all my inspirations," said McGregor. "It ranges from bedroom pop, to hip hop, to rock. I like to tell people my music is the love child of Billie Eilish and Adele. A few more of my inspirations are Dodie, Cavetown, and Sam Smith."
Rosewater was released in early 2021, the artist's largest project of the year so far.
"The songs on Rosewater were written a couple years ago, but I decided to produce them in 2020," said McGregor. "It took several sessions of recording and several more to mix and master it myself."
Rosewater describes McGregor's personal journey overcoming depression.
"The themes in my EP are very focused on mental health and my struggles with depression," said McGregor. "The Billie Eilish cover of "Ocean Eyes" at the end I found to be a good soft way to end it."
McGregor says they wrote the first of two original tracks, "I Feel Sad Today", from a place of extreme vulnerability.
"The first track, “I Feel Sad Today”, is probably the most upfront I’ve been about depression," said McGregor. "It came from a place of raw vulnerability, so it does mean a lot to me."
The slow, sad Eilish-inspired "Fool's Gold" is a haunting listen- again exploring Mars!'s experience with mental illness.
"The second song, “Fool’s Gold”, is also about struggles with depression, and is probably my personal favourite that I’ve put out," said McGregor. "All the lyrics I write are inspired by personal feelings and stories."
The musician recorded, mixed and mastered the project entirely themselves.
"This was a solo recording project of me in my bedrooms in Ottawa, Ontario, and Newmarket, Ontario," said McGregor. "I got to learn how to use a DAW this year, and I found it extremely hard but rewarding to create. There were so many ups and downs involved, most involving my perfectionist tendencies, but I feel that it ended up making the EP the way it is."
Mars! wants their music to speak for itself. For anyone listening who identifies with their story, you're not alone.
"If there’s any message I hope people can take away from Rosewater, it’s that you’re not alone in your struggles and it’s okay to be vulnerable and talk about it," said McGregor.
You can help support Mars! by following their social media, or by subscribing to their Patreon below. https://www.patreon.com/marsmusicofficial
(Postponed due to COVID-19.)