Artist to Watch: Mothé Stuns, Stirs, Soars & Inspires in “Dancing on an Empty Floor”

Mothé © Kylie Shaffer
Mothé © Kylie Shaffer
Visceral and propulsive, “Dancing on an Empty Floor” radiates with both grit and grace as Mothé pours themselves into a dynamic and utterly irresistible sonic surrender.
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Stream: “Dancing on an Empty Floor” – Mothé




A dramatic and sweeping indie pop performance, Mothé’s latest single radiates with deep passion, raw verve, and intimate yearning. Visceral and propulsive, “Dancing on an Empty Floor” radiates with both grit and grace as Mothé pours themselves into a dynamic and utterly irresistible sonic surrender.

Dancing on an Empty Floor - Mothé
Dancing on an Empty Floor – Mothé (Celia Jacobs)
He’ll only kill you if you let him
But you’re not nervous ‘cause you left him
You said that you like Tiny Dancer, you think it’s fucking great
But you’re guilty for the pleasure
Went to school and got arrested
For stealing signs out of the yard
Yeah things were pretty civil ‘til
you tried to burn the cop car

Released May 28, 2021 via the artist’s own indie label Slowlab Records, “Dancing on an Empty Floor” is the third single taken off Mothé’s forthcoming debut album, set for release in 2022. The new stage name for LA-based, Houston-bred musician Spencer Fort (they/them), Mothé arrived over the past year following the dissolution of Moth Wings, Fort’s previous moniker – through which they racked up over 1 million streams and landed a spot on four different Billboard charts in 2018. While Moth Wings’ impressive catalog is worth exploring at length, Mothé represents a fresh start for the artist – who clearly has no plans of slowing down any time soon. Fort debuted Mothé only last August with “You’re So Cool,” a feverish indie rock/pop outpouring that quickly paved the way for October’s debut EP, Cindi. This year has so far seen the consecutive release of singles “Debt Collector,” “Wrong Places,” and most recently “Dancing on an Empty Floor” as Mothé steadily unveils their forthcoming full-length album – and if these three songs are any indication, this record promises to be a striking, popping, cinematic debut.

Mothé © Kylie Shaffer
Mothé © Kylie Shaffer

A mix of alternative, indie, art rock, and synth pop influences propel Mothé’s music to fresh heights as they stun and soar through vibrant high highs and moody low lows alike.

They shine particularly bright in “Dancing on an Empty Floor,” which calls to mind the likes of Phoenix, The Strokes, and Mika while still standing apart from the pack as an artistry and entity all its own. Strong, LFO-heavy synths roar and rich drums pulse a driving beat as the song gets underway, and Mothé paints a portrait of nonchalant cool and unencumbered effervescence. “He’ll only kill you if you let him,” they sing off the bat, “but you’re not nervous ‘cause you left him. You said that you like Tiny Dancer, you think it’s fucking great, but you’re guilty for the pleasure.” Their vivid lyrics compel the listener forward as we imagine this figure to which we might aspire, but never faithfully achieve – because in so many ways, you have to stop caring about who you are or who you’re perceived to be, in order to reach whatever image you’re aspiring to emulate. Longing and being are like polar opposites when it comes to “cool,” but Mothé is definitely cool; they rise to a fever pitch in an expressive, radiant chorus full of aching vocals and filmic finesse:

Silent and profound that I’m the only
one who’s watching now

You’re moving with the perfect form
Dancing on an empty floor

“When I was first writing ‘Dancing on an Empty Floor,’ I started trying to ad-lib vocals, and the first thing that came out of my mouth was, ‘He’ll only kill you if you let him,‘” Mothé tells Atwood Magazine. “I thought it was a love song for a second, but it was always a song about wanting to be that beautiful, dangerous woman despite only being able to watch her or imagine being her.”

“When I eventually took the song to my co-producer Robert Stevenson (Jeff Beck, Queens of the Stone Age), we tracked all the synths and vocals in his apartment and went over to Sonic Ranch to finish it all up. The last thing we wound up tracking was a live take of the ending where everything slows down — it felt like a very natural way to finish the song. The first thing I sang wound up being the first line of the song, and the last thing I performed wound up as the ending. It was a real start-to-finish scenario over the course of a few months, and felt like completing a circle.”

Mothé © Kylie Shaffer
Mothé © Kylie Shaffer



For Fort, who is non-binary, “Dancing on an Empty Floor” is an exploration of both their gender identity and what they describe as social discomfort – that inherent inner reckoning with this “reckless” woman the narrator so desires to embody, “despite feeling safer observing from a distance.” We listen as these feelings cause inner turmoil and distress, embroiling artist and narrator alike.

You passed over when you met him
But you weren’t scared to close the door
Said you maybe caught a bad vibe
but you never think about it anymore

And you were ripping up your postcards
Took the trash out in the night
Thought you maybe saw a figure
from the corner of your eye

But it’s easier to shrug it off
Silent and profound that I’m the only
one who’s watching now

You’re moving with the perfect form
Dancing on an empty floor
How’d you get like that?
Asking everybody when’d you get so mad
You’re moving with the perfect form
Dancing on an empty floor

And yet, this is not a sad song, nor is it a particularly melancholy song. All hope is not lost: They may be dancing on an empty floor, but they’re there – dancing; embracing the room, embracing themselves, and going for it against all odds. We can interpret this image as an all-is-lost scenario, or we can see the potential that lies there: The possibility to become that which we so aspire to be. There is inspiration waiting to be found in this song – inspiration for all those who feel they are different, and feel the pressures to conform and accept an identity that is not theirs. Mothé encourages us to go for it, at all costs: To dream big, and see our dreams through.

Mothé © Kylie Shaffer
Mothé © Kylie Shaffer

Somehow, Mothé has also tapped into the ideal marriage of dramatic pop and suave rock. Their music is effortlessly expressive and anthemically invigorating at the same time – especially “Dancing on an Empty Floor,” whose engaging imagery whisks us into scenes of youthful yearning, insecurity, self-discovery, and self-love as the artists spreads their own wings and takes flight.

Stream “Dancing on an Empty Floor” out now and watch the Derek Rathbun-directed music video below (starring Jess Howard, Everth Garcia, and roller blades – remember those?!), and stay tuned for more from Mothé as they bust 2021’s doors wide open. They are, without a doubt, an artist to watch over the coming years – one who enchants the ears while rejuvenating the heat and mind.

Can’t come close
But we’re so in love
With the priceless touch of it all
Mindless and hypothetical
Empathetic not for a second
Silent and profound that I’m the only
one who’s watching now

You’re moving with the perfect form
Dancing on an empty floor
How’d you get like that?
Asking everybody when’d you get so mad
You’re moving with the perfect form
Dancing on an empty floor

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Stream: “Dancing on an Empty Floor” – Mothé



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Dancing on an Empty Floor - Mothé

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📸 © Kylie Shaffer
art by Celia Jacobs


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